EAGLE PASS, Texas (KXAN/ValleyCentral) — The Texas National Guard soldier reported missing Friday drowned in the Rio Grande while trying to rescue migrants in the strong currents, the Washington Post reported.
The Texas Military Department earlier in the day issued a release stating the soldier had gone missing along the river during a mission-related incident in Eagle Pass, Texas. That solider was part of Operation Lone Star. Their body hasn’t been recovered yet, the Post said.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the river currents caused at least 10 drownings this week, the Post reported. Recently, Eagle Pass officials told the news outlet they’ve seen an uptick in crossings from Piedras Negras, Mexico, which is across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass.
The TMD addressed claims about the soldier’s death in its earlier statement, saying “we are aware of reports of a fatality, although those reports are inaccurate.
In an update Friday night, the TMD said, “while our search continues, river currents have forced dive teams to cease operations.”
The TMD, Texas DPS and Border Patrol are looking into what happened.
Gov. Greg Abbott also released a statement, saying his office is helping to support search efforts. He did not mention the soldier’s death.
The Texas Governor’s office continues to work with the Texas National Guard and other law enforcement agencies as they search for the missing soldier. Updates will be provided as additional details become available.Gov. Greg Abbott
ValleyCentral has reached out to TMD and the Department of Homeland Security for more information.