Spotlight falls on Baylor prof’s work identifying remains in South Texas
The sad plight of children losing their lives while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border alone has made national news this summer following the discovery of mass unmarked graves in a South Texas cemetery. Texas lawmakers, up to and including Governor Rick Perry, have called for immediate actions to help stop such tragedies from happening; the Texas Rangers have begun a preliminary inquiry into the situation.
The flurry of activity began with the exhumation of more than 50 graves at a cemetery in Falfurrias, Texas, about 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Baylor professor and alumna Lori Baker, BA ’93, MA ’94, and her team were among the researchers who discovered the bodies, which are estimated to have been buried between 2005 and 2009.
[READ “Texas scholar’s work to ID immigrant corpses is gratifying — and sad,” from the Los Angeles Times]
Dr. Baker and her team of Baylor students have been working in South Texas for years to identify the remains of illegal immigrants near the border, in hopes of being able to notify their families and at least offer closure to those back home. Since beginning her program in 2002, Baker’s team has been able to assist more than 70 families.
“I feel driven by my faith to do the work I do,” Baker told the Los Angeles Times. “These are all people,” she added in another interview. “Their families deserve to know what happened to them. And they deserve human dignity.”
Sic ’em, Dr. Baker!