Illegal immigrant rescues boy in desert
Vail, CO Colorado
PHOENIX ” An illegal immigrant who rescued a 9-year-old boy from the southern Arizona desert said Wednesday he was thinking of his own four children when he halted his two-day walk from Mexico to help the boy.
Manuel Jesus Cordova Soberanes told The Associated Press that he never could have left the boy to continue his journey, even though he was only 50 miles from reaching Tucson.
“I am a father of four children. For that, I stayed,” Cordova said in Spanish from his home in Magdalena de Kino in the Mexican state of Sonora. “I never could have left him. Never.”
If he had left, authorities say it could have meant death for the boy, 9-year-old Christopher Buztheitner, who had an injured leg, was dressed in shorts despite the desert cold and had just lost his mother in a car crash. The boy had a dog with him that had also survived the crash and held a side mirror from the van.
Christopher and his mother, 45-year-old Dawn Alice Tomko, had been in the area camping, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.
He said Tomko was driving on a U.S. Forest Service road in a remote area just north of the Mexican border when she lost control of her van on a curve on Thanksgiving Day. The van vaulted off a cliff into a canyon and landed 300 feet from the road.
Language barriers prevented Christopher and Cordova from speaking to one another, but Cordova said Christopher took him to the canyon’s edge and showed him the accident.
Cordova, a 26-year-old bricklayer who was hoping to find work in Arizona, gave the boy the sweater he was wearing and climbed down to the van and found chocolate and cookies to feed him. He then built a bonfire, and the two hunkered down for the night.
Fourteen hours later, a group of hunters found the pair and called for help. U.S. Border Patrol agents took Cordova into custody, and Christopher was flown to a hospital in Tucson.
Christopher was reunited with family over the weekend and Cordova was taken back to Mexico.
– Santa Cruz County Sheriff: http://www.co.santa-cruz.az.us
– Magdalena de Kino: http://magdalenadekino.net/
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