A U.S. surveillance helicopter hovering over the Rio Grande spots a body floating near a muddy bank on the Mexican side of the river.
Soon another body turns up, then another. A Mexican investigator arrives and holds up his hand confirming the grim tally: four men and a woman.
The grisly discovery last month is part of a spike in drownings since October. Immigrants, desperate to avoid detection at a time of increased patrols, are choosing more dangerous and remote crossings into South Texas. The Border Patrol has responded by expanding its search-and-rescue teams to monitor the area, particularly weed-choked irrigation canals where many of the bodies are being found.