A Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell last month, according to Border Patrol agents and an incident report filed by sheriff’s deputies.
The death of Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, has not been publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security, and it did not appear in any local news accounts. But according to a copy of a sheriff’s department report obtained by The Washington Post, Muñoz was found on the floor of his cell May 13 in a pool of blood with an item of clothing twisted around his neck.
Starr County sheriff’s deputies recorded the incident as a “suicide in custody.”
Muñoz’s death occurred not long after the Trump administration began implementing its “zero-tolerance” crackdown on illegal migration, measures that include separating parents from their children and the threat of criminal prosecution for anyone who enters the United States unlawfully.
According to Border Patrol agents with detailed knowledge of what occurred, Muñoz crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and 3-year-old son on May 12 near the tiny town of Granjeno, Tex. The area is a popular crossing point for Central American families and teenagers who turn themselves in to apply for asylum in the United States.
Soon after Muñoz and his family were taken into custody, they arrived at a processing station in nearby McAllen and said they wanted to apply for asylum. Border Patrol agents told the family they would be separated. That’s when Muñoz “lost it,” according to one agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the incident.
“The guy lost his s—,” the agent said. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
Abolish ICE. Abolish CBP. Abolish the Trump Administration.