Body of Bishop Evans found after Texas National Guard soldier went missing while trying to rescue migrants
THE body of a missing Texas National Guard soldier has been found after he went missing while trying to rescue migrants in the Rio Grande River.
National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans, 22, went missing in the waters near Eagle Pass, Texas, and Mexico on Friday while attempting to save two migrants who appeared to be drowning.
Evans was a field artilleryman from Arlington, Texas.
He was assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels, joining the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019.
Officials believe Evans drowned during his heroic efforts.
"The service member selflessly attempted to help two migrants who appeared to be drowning as they illegally crossed the river from Mexico to the United States,” the Texas Military Department said on Saturday.
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The Texas Rangers lead the search efforts over the weekend with the help of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Parks and Border Patrol officials.
The search continued after officials recovered Evans' walkie-talkie and body armor Friday afternoon.
The soldier's family was notified about the disappearance on Friday night.
Dive teams ceased operations along with the Rio Grande Saturday evening as the river's current continued at an "increased" pace, TMD said.
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On Sunday, three airboats from the state's Department of Public Safety were added to the rescue mission.
Two migrants suspected of being "involved in illicit transnational narcotics trafficking" were taken into custody on Friday, TMD said.
It's unclear where Evans' body was located.
The rescue mission comes on the heels of the escalating border crisis.
Last month, a harrowing video showed three people fighting for their lives in the water near the border town of Laredo, Texas, with only their heads bobbing above the surface.
“You don’t have life jackets, nothing? They’re drowning, these guys!” local fisherman Jesus Vargas, who took the video, can be heard shouting at US Border Patrol agents standing on the shoreline nearby.
“That girl didn’t come out no more!” Vargas yells at one apparent victim.
The quick-thinker used his fishing reel to save one boy, about 13 years old, but he couldn't save the rest.
Border Patrol said only two people perished from the river's strong currents.
“Two individuals succumbed to the dangerous currents of the Rio Grande river and perished,” the statement said.
The incident was part of a human smuggling attempt,” the agency’s Laredo sector posted on Facebook.
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The post said that agents saw several people attempt to swim across the river into Mexico and that some were taken into custody while others safely made it to the Mexican riverbank.
The video that Vargas shot appears to show Mexican authorities recovering a body on the opposite side of the river.
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