Unaccompanied 16-year-old dies in U.S. custody

A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died days after being apprehended in the U.S., officials confirmed Wednesday. They said he developed symptoms of illness the day after he arrived at a shelter.

The teen was transferred by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelter on April 20.

“Upon arrival to the shelter the minor did not note any health concerns,” Evelyn Stauffer, a spokesperson for the Administration for Children and Families, which oversees ORR, said in a statement to CBS News. Children placed in ORR custody are typically given an initial medical examination by staff doctors when they first arrive at shelters.

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“On the morning of April 21, 2019 the minor became noticeably ill including fever, chills and a headache,” Stauffer said.

The boy was brought to a hospital emergency room that morning and released later that day. When his health had not improved by the next day, he was brought to a different hospital, and later transferred to a children’s hospital in Texas, Stauffer said.

The agency did not name the facility where the boy was placed, and did not say which specific hospitals treated him.

During the boy’s hospitalization, his brother and Guatemalan consular officials visited him. Stauffer said his family “received frequent updates from hospital staff.”

“Following several days of intensive care, the minor passed away at the hospital on April 30, 2019,” the statement said.

Officials did not release any more details about his medical condition, and said the boy’s cause of death is under review. “In accordance with standard ORR policies and procedures, the case will be subject to a full review,” Stauffer said.

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