In March, an eight-year-old girl from Ecuador traveled with a trafficker, or “coyote,” who promised to reunite her with her parents in the United States. But while attempting to illegally cross the border, her trafficker was arrested. The girl, Jhoselín Noemí Álvarez Quillay, was sent to a shelter. There, 33 days after leaving her home in Ecuador, she was found dead by hanging.
The incident, which is still being investigated, set off a media firestorm and a wave of suspicion.