Desert skeletal remains have been found in Arizona on the Tohono O'Odham reservation, according to reports. In total it appears five remains have been uncovered, and the Pima County Medical Examiner has announced the remains will now be examined.
The remains were found in an area known to be used by smugglers between Mexico and the United States. However, officials have said that the remains seem to have been hidden in a strange way.
The remains were found on Tuesday by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Sells, and were reportedly partially covered by rocks.
Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Hess has said: "It's not a typical migrant death site. Usually that's people laying under a tree because it got too hot, and they're on the surface of the ground and nobody tried to bury them."
He added, "The remains were partially covered with rocks and we're not sure if that's an attempt to hide [them] or if somebody just buried them there for some other reason." Hess added that foul play is a possibility that has not yet been ruled out."
Currently smugglers are known to use various parts of Arizona to traffick both humans and drugs into the United States from Mexico. Deaths occurring during border crossings are not uncommon, however, in the present case authorities have stated that the circumstances seem unusual and different.
They did not go into any details about the condition of the bodies and the remains.
Many border deaths occur during the summer months when heat can be particularly fierce, and unsuspecting migrants are caught unawares, suffering from dehydration and without enough water to make it through the journey through the desert.
Autopsies will be performed on the remains in the coming week.