AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, Pool
- A child migrant died at a Florida government-sponsored center.
- The Department of Health and Human Services said it “is deeply saddened by this tragic loss.”
- The HHS declined to explicitly confirm the death and did not provide any further information.
A child died at a government-sponsored shelter in Florida on Wednesday.
The child has been identified as 17-year-old Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza from Honduras, according to Enrique Reina, the Honduran secretary of foreign affairs, CBS News reported. Aura Bogado, a reporter at The Center for Investigative Reporting, first reported the death in a tweet on Friday.
Reina called for an “exhaustive investigation” into the boy’s death, CBS News reported.
Espinoza was staying at a shelter in Safety Harbor, Florida, that houses unaccompanied children, according to CBS News.
The Department of Health and Human Services, when asked by Insider for comment on the news, said the department “is deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our heart goes out to the family, with whom we are in touch,” but declined to officially confirm the death or provide further information about the child or the situation.
The statement said that the HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Division of Health for Unaccompanied Children (DHUC) is reviewing all “clinical details of this case, including all inpatient healthcare records.” It said this is “standard practice for any situation involving the death of an unaccompanied child or a serious health outcome.”
“A medical examiner investigation is underway,” the HHS said in a statement to Insider.
At a White House briefing Friday, when asked if President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “It’s deeply saddening to hear, and we are certainly aware of the tragic loss, and our hearts go out to the family,” and later called it a “devastating situation.”
Jean-Pierre said she has not spoken to Biden about it and does not know whether he has been briefed on the child’s death. She said that there is no information currently on whether Biden will reach out to the child’s family.
She confirmed a medical investigation was opened by HHS on May 10 and is ongoing.