Haitian Immigrants Smuggled Into Palm Beach; Teen Girl Pronounced Dead on the Scene
Several Haitian immigrants were smuggled onto the shores of Palm Beach on Wednesday morning, investigators say.
One of them, a 14-year-old girl, was found dead on the beach.
The U.S. Coast Guard, and a Palm Beach County Sheriff's helicopter searched the waters for the vessel that had smuggled them into Florida but were unable to track it down.
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, the Haitians landed ashore on the north end of Palm Beach just after sunrise Wednesday.
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The group included a 17-year-old boy, four men, four women, and a 3-year-old boy. The 14-year-old girl who was traveling with them was found floating in the surf. Emergency workers tried to revive her but were unsuccessful.
Palm Beach police are investigating the girl's death.
The 17-year-old told investigators that the group had to jump off the vessel they were smuggled in and swim to shore.
Police spent the day Wednesday pulling over and questioning taxicab drivers throughout Palm Beach. According to authorities, illegal Haitian immigrants coming to the U.S. will often have a contact number for a Haitian cabdriver to pick them up from where they arrive.
This marks the second time this month that Haitians have been found smuggled into the U.S. in Palm Beach.
On August 13, authorities found ten Haitian men and four children they believe had recently made landfall as they wandered north Palm Beach. They were taken into custody.
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