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Investigation ongoing in death of three-year-old asylum seeker on bus heading to Chicago

Jismary Alejandra Barboza González, 3.
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Jismary Alejandra Barboza González, 3.

Federal and local public health officials are investigating the cause of death of a three-year-old girl and asylum seeker who died while en route to Chicago on a bus from Texas.

Jismary Alejandra Barboza González died on August 10, as the bus traveled through Marion County, located about 90 miles east of East St. Louis.

The bus traveled from Brownsville, TX and was part of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s policy to send asylum seekers to democratically-led cities across the country, according to the Associated Press.

Illinois State Police are also involved in the investigation, said ISP spokesperson Christopher Watson.

Funeral services were held Thursday for Jismary Alejandra, who would have turned four on Aug. 25, at a church in Warsaw, Indiana.

An Illinois Welcoming Center covered the burial and funeral costs. These service centers are partially funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

A Chicago native, Maria earned a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield . Maria is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America. RFA is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit journalism organization. Un residente nativo de Chicago, Maria se graduó de University of Illinois Springfield con una licenciatura superior en periodismo de gobierno.