U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 3-year-old migrant alone in a cornfield at the border between Mexico and Texas on Tuesday morning, according to Customs and Border Protection officials.
The boy, who was in distress and crying when agents found him in the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, Texas, was identified only by a phone number and his name written on his shoes, the officials said and NBC News reported.
The agents have taken the boy to a U.S. border station and are attempting to find his parents using the number on his shoes, the officials said. So far, they have been unsuccessful and are in the process of transferring the boy to the care of Health and Human Services.
The incident marks a flashpoint in the rising number of families and children crossing the border in recent months. In March, a total of 8,975 children traveling without their parents, but most often in groups, were apprehended at the southern border. The number of families crossing has also climbed, with 53,077 parents and children crossing the border together last month.