The girl who died in Border Patrol custody was healthy before she arrived, father says

The 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody was healthy before she arrived, and her family is now calling for an “objective and thorough” investigation into her death, a representative for the family said Saturday.

In a statement, the family’s attorneys disputed reports that the girl, Jakelin Caal, went several days without food and water before crossing the border, which contradicts statements by the Department of Homeland Security. Ruben Garcia, founder and executive director of Annunciation House — an El Paso-based nonprofit that aids migrants — said that the girl’s father, 29-year-old Nery Caal, said she was healthy and had no preexisting conditions.

“He’s been very clear, very consistent that his daughter was healthy, and his daughter very much wanted to come with him,” Garcia said during the news conference.

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