HOUSTON — U.S. authorities say a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador died last year after being detained by border authorities in a previously unreported case.
The death marks the sixth known case in the past year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that she died on Sept. 29 at an Omaha hospital of fever and respiratory distress. She was reportedly in Omaha to be near family.
Spokesman Mark Weber said the department began caring for the unidentified girl in March 2018. Weber said the girl was "medically fragile," with a history of congenital heart defects.
"Following a surgical procedure, complications left the child in a comatose state. She was transported to a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona for palliative care in May after release from a San Antonio hospital," Weber said. "On Sept. 26, she was transferred to an Omaha, Neb., nursing facility to be closer to her family. On Sept. 29, the child was transported to Children's Hospital of Omaha where she passed due to fever and respiratory distress."
He did not say when she entered the U.S. or whether a parent or adult accompanied her. HHS provides care to children the government considers unaccompanied.
The deaths of immigrant children in U.S. government custody have sparked calls for investigations and changes to Trump administration policy. Weber said the department was committed to protecting the children in its custody.