Border Patrol finds missing special needs man near Fort Hancock

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — U.S. Border Patrol agents working near the Fort Hancock port of entry located and identified a missing special needs person from Ciudad Juarez, the Border Patrol said in a news release.

They were then able to help reunite the man with his family.

On Thursday, March 14, Border Patrol agents working in the El Paso Sector encountered encountered a man on the levee near the Acala Headgates, just west of the Fort Hancock port of entry.

The man, in his 60s, was later identified as Jose Luis Escamilla-Soto, who had been missing since Feb. 22.

According to the Border Patrol, the man was unable to provide basic details about his background including name, date of birth and nationality.

From that initial encounter, they suspected that he was a person with special needs.

Agents also observed footprints coming from the Rio Grande, indicating he may have crossed into the United States from Mexico.

The man was taken to the Fort Hancock Station where agents attempted to use the fingerprint database system to identify him.

However, record checks did not produce any matches.

Border Patrol then reached out to Hudspeth County and Fort Hancock law enforcement and other partners including private citizens. They were able to match him up with a Facebook post for a missing person out of Ciudad Juarez.

Scars, marks and tattoos were used to confirm his identity, according to the news release.

Border Patrol was able to get word to the man’s family and he was reunited with them Friday at the Paso del Norte port of entry in Downtown El Paso.

The man was given a full medical assessment, food, shower and fresh set of clothes before being reunited with his family, the Border Patrol said.

“Thanks to the combined efforts of our agents, the local community and our partners with the Mexican government we were able to locate Mr. Escamilla-Soto and ensure his safe return,” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony “Scott” Good. “This case is a reminder of the importance of working together across borders to keep our communities safe and assist those in need.”

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