Possible Child's Remains Found Near Suspected Child Trafficking Camp Site Outside Tucson, Site Bulldozed
An Arizona veteran's group which searches for homeless veterans in the Tucson area has found what appears to be childrens' remains near an area where they recently found what they suspect to be a child trafficking stop in the desert outside of Tucson. The suspected stop was found last Monday, and has been bulldozed over, over the objections of child trafficking activists who say there was no time to conduct a proper investigation. The veterans are charging that the Tucson Police Department is engaged in a cover-up. (Read: Police Deny That Camp Found Outside Tucson Is Child Trafficking Center, on Land Owned by Clinton Foundation Donor.)
The bulldozing of the camp comes after less than 3 days of investigation, before the camp and especially the underground structure could be tested thoroughly for DNA and hair samples.
Now, eleven days later, teams of citizens rallied by the veterans have fanned out across the desert, and are reporting that they have discovered decomposing childrens' remains.
The property on which the first camp was found is owned by Cemex, a Mexican multinational construction company, which has made donations to and is in an "alliance" with the Clinton Foundation. Cemex obtained a $7 million contract from USAID for work in Haiti in 2014.
In a live Facebook broadcast, Lewis Arthur, coordinator of Veterans on Patrol, reported the following.
"...as of right now we have recovered a small child's body, the sheriff is in route...I'm going to take you guys to the area so you guys can see it, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and all the authorities are all out ...we're going to take you out where one body is an my team says there's report of bones where they been sawed off, but this is definitely human cadaver...this is between the ages of 9 14 years old, they are still decomposing but the spine is still attacked to the skull..."
Arthur described the skull as still decomposing with a cadaver smell to it.
Tucson Police quickly issued a statement Monday that there was no evidence that child trafficking was taking place at the camp found by the veterans last week. However, the group insists that the police are dismissive of evidence which points strongly to the presence of children, and illicit activity.
Local news reports showed what appeared to be an underground prison, built of a thick-gauge, sealed plastic chamber, such as one used for a septic tank or for underground water storage. The entrance was just large enough for a child to fit easily through, and inside it child's toys, empty food packets, and a comb with blond hairs which appeared to be a child's.
News reports also showed nylon web straps nailed into trees, alleged "rape trees," as well as many women's and children's underwear strewn across the desert. Human rights advocates say it is a habit of coyotes to leave women's undergarments in the desert as "trophies" of rape.
Also found in the camp, according to the group, were:
- A buried, bloody knife, not known whether tested to be human blood or not.
- A bone saw.
- Hair dye, commonly used by traffickers to changed a victim's appearance
- Childrens' backpacks
- Childrens' shoes, unusual for a normal homeless camp, which according to the group, are often taken to prevent children from running away.
- Part of a CB radio antenna.
- Children's jewelry
- Large quantities of children's Robitussin, which contains Dextromethorphan, a drug of the morphine class with sedative properties
- A swing
- Baby cribs
- Porn magazines
- High-power rifle rounds
- A book with names and contact information
- Female underwear, "soiled"
- Used and unused condoms
- Sexual lubricant
- A plane ticket belonging to a woman whose family, says the group, was contacted and reported her missing- A rope ladder on a tree to a high lookout point
Photos of some of the remains have been posted. More updates will follow as this story unfolds. The veterans group is communicating to the public primarily via live Facebook feed. The group is also charging that the national media is blacking out the story.
Although the Tucson Police Department says that the group's find is an ordinary homeless camp, the veterans, whose entire mission over the past nearly three years has been finding and assisting homeless veterans, say this is not a normal homeless camp. To demonstrate his point, Lewis Arthur visited a homeless camp known to him, and introduced his viewers to it and its inhabitants, who were friends of his.
Human trafficking is an acknowledged problem according to the US government. The FBI website on the issue states:
"Over the past decade, the FBI’s human trafficking investigations have been responsible for the arrest of more than 2,000 traffickers and the recovery of numerous victims. "
Every year hundreds of thousands of children go missing, the vast majority of them runaways. According to USA Today, in 2016 in the United States, 465,676 cases of missing children were reported to the FBI. Because studies show that roughly 90% are runaways, that still leaves tens of thousands of mostly unsolved cases of missing children per year.