Death toll now at 53 in San Antonio as families wait for answers

Body bags lie at the scene where a tractor trailer with multiple dead bodies was discovered, Monday, June 27, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - In the chaotic minutes after dozens of migrants were found dead inside a tractor-trailer sweltering under the Texas sun, the driver tried to slip away by pretending to be one of the survivors, a Mexican immigration official said Wednesday.

The driver along with two other men from Mexico remained in custody as the investigation continued into the tragedy that killed 53 people - the nation's deadliest smuggling episode on the U.S.-Mexico border.

They were among 67 people packed into the truck found abandoned Monday near auto salvage yards on the edge of San Antonio.

The victims included 27 people from Mexico, 14 from Honduras, seven from Guatemala and two from El Salvador, said Francisco Garduño, chief of Mexico's National Immigration Institute.

Officials had potential identifications on 37 of the victims as of Wednesday morning, pending verification with authorities in other countries, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office.