Bodies of father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande head home to El Salvador

The bodies of a Salvadoran father and his young daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande began their journey home Thursday.

A photographer captured an image this week of Oscar Alberto Martinez and 23-month-old Angie Valeria Martinez face down in murky waters littered with weeds. The photograph shook viewers worldwide and was a reminder of the harsh realities of the migration crisis and risks taken to reach the southern US border.

The bodies were handed over Wednesday to Tania Avalos, Martinez’s wife and the child’s mother, in Mexico. They left Matamoros, Mexico, Thursday.

Their bodies will be driven to Monterrey in the state of Nuevo Leon, about a four-hour drive. From Monterrey, the bodies will be flown San Salvador, El Salvador, on a commercial flight, according to the Salvadoran foreign ministry.

It is not clear if the flight will leave Thursday night or on Friday morning.

The family is requesting for authorities to guarantee their privacy on the journey.

Funeral arrangements have already been made.

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