Authorities investigating a reported kidnapping on Friday came across a suspected human smuggler house containing more than 90 migrants, some with symptoms of Covid-19, Houston police said.
Investigators worked overnight to locate the location in southwest Houston after receiving a call about a potential kidnapping Thursday night, Houston Police Department Deputy Chief Daryn Edwards said.
None of the migrants were in particular in poor health, he said, but they remained inside the two-story house on Friday because some showed signs of Covid-19. They will all be tested for the virus, Edwards said at a press conference.
“Some people in the house have told us before that they can’t smell and they don’t know,” Edwards said.
It was not yet clear who was behind the alleged smuggling operation, and no one had been arrested, he said.
The youngest in the group appeared to be in their twenties, he said, and many appeared to be in their thirties. About five are women, he said.
Police raided the house with a search warrant Friday morning as they investigated a possible kidnapping, Edwards said.
“It was a big surprise when we walked into the house and saw what we saw,” he said.
Edwards said the house was mostly unfurnished, with mattresses leaning against the walls.
U.S. Homeland Security will resume the investigation, he said.
Michelle Acevedo contributed.