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Immigrant deaths in Arizona desert soaring in July

TUCSON, Ariz. — A county medical examiner says deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the southern Arizona desert from Mexico are soaring so much this month the office is using a refrigerated truck to store some of the bodies.

Pima County medical examiner Dr. Bruce Parks said Friday that the bodies of 40 illegal immigrants have been brought to his Tucson office since July 1.

At that rate, he says deaths could top the single-month record of 68 in July 2005.

Authorities believe the high number of deaths are likely due to above-average heat and tighter border security that pushes immigrants to more remote terrain.

The deaths occur despite the efforts of the Border Patrol and humanitarian groups to help those in distress.

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