Baylor professor helps identify bodies of immigrants crossing bo - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Baylor professor helps identify bodies of immigrants crossing border

WACO, TX (KXXV) - Authorities on the border are finding bodies everyday of those who tried and failed to cross into the U.S. safely. One local woman is helping identify those people. 

This is the second year Baylor professor, Lori Baker, has made the trip with students to the border. Baker and her students are currently going through the remains bone by bone in order to identify the remains and give families a little closure. 

"I think it's something right now where we're in a crisis," Baker said. "Now with the number of immigrants coming and the number of children, it's a disastrous situation."Baker says each day they were at the border, authorities found a new body. She says in the past she has seen a number of immigrants getting killed in the desert heat, but this year she says there have been more children. 

Baker says the way these people were buried were also a little less organized. They found one set of remains in a trash big inside a dignity bag. That was something Baker didn't like to see. 

"I can't think of a better juxtaposition than finding someone so undignified in this cemetery," Baker said. 

"I was mad, that's not how anyone should be treated, imagine  your loved one being buried in a trash bag. It didn't seem right to me," project volunteer Jennifer Husak said. 

Baker and her students are now categorizing the remains and starting the process of identification. However, that's a long process because it takes coordination with multiple agencies in multiple countries to identify some of these people. Of the nearly 150 remains, they have identified one person. 

"In my book that was a success it made everything worth it. Just to be able to know that this family member is going to get their loved one back," Husak said. 

"Every mom that we talk to says something along the same lines that is now I have a place to go and pray, now I have a place to go be with my child," Baker said. 

Baker has also volunteered to help identify the remains found at the First Street Cemetery. She has not yet received approval to work on those remains.
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