Autopsy: 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in US custody died from sepsis

U.S. & World
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An autopsy report released Friday has revealed the cause of death of the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died after being taken into US Customs and Border Protection custody late last year.

Jakelin Caal Maquin died from a bacterial infection known as streptococcal sepsis, according to the autopsy report from the medical examiner’s office in El Paso County, Texas. The report says streptococcus bacteria was found in the girl’s lungs, adrenal gland, liver and spleen. It goes on to say the infection was rapidly progressive, which led to multiple organ dysfunction and death.

Jakelin died in December, two days after she and her father, Nery Gilberto Caal, 29, were detained by US Customs and Border Protection.

The law offices of Lynn Coyle, who represents Jakelin’s family, released a statement saying it will continue to ask for an independent investigation of her death.

While the report sheds light on Jakelin’s cause of death, it still leaves many questions that require further review, the statement said. The report’s findings suggest that Jakelin’s chances of surviving would have been improved with earlier medical intervention. As we requested back in December of last year, the family seeks a thorough independent investigation of this matter to learn why medical intervention was delayed.

The autopsy does not indicate how or when Jakelin caught the infection.

CNN reached out to the CBP for comment, and was given a news release about the young girl’s death from December that said CBP agents and emergency responders did everything in their power to treat Jakelin, including Border Patrol agents twice reviving the girl before she was taken by air ambulance to a hospital.

The agents involved are deeply affected and empathize with the father over the loss of his daughter, the release read.

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