Search continues for missing 3-year-old migrant boy along Rio Grande

Search continues for missing 3-year-old migrant boy along Rio Grande
Migrants stroll toward Border Patrol agents after crossing Rio Grande. CBP video, Twitter

By Jason Hopkins

Border Patrol agents are still searching for a missing 3-year-old boy along the Rio Grande River after a body believed to be his mother was recovered.

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday that there are no new developments in the case of the missing 3-year-old boy. The boy and his mother are believed to have traveled from Honduras.

A group of 12 migrants were spotted swimming across the Rio Grande earlier Tuesday morning, allegedly attempting unauthorized entry into the U.S. The illegal migrants informed the responding Border Patrol agents that a mother and her young son were taken away by the river’s currents. Upon this news, Border Patrol immediately embarked in a search-and-rescue mission to locate them, along with help from CBP Air and Marine Operations aircraft.

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Later that morning, marine agents with Eagle Pass South Station located a body that matched the description of the 28-year-old mother. The body was transferred to the Maverick County Justice of the Peace. The search continues for the 3-year-old boy.

“This is heartbreaking tragedy that occurs too often,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a Thursday statement. “Border Patrol agents are using all available resources in the search for the missing boy.”

The incident draws strong comparisons to the discovery of a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande in June. Their deaths became so notable, it was mentioned in one of the Democratic presidential debates.

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez in June attempted to cross the river — well-known among migrants to be deadly — in June with his wife and his 23-month-old daughter. While he was able to cross the first time, he had to jump back in to get his daughter, where they then were swept up in a current and ultimately drown. A photo of their lifeless bodies went viral.

“While CBP places emergency beacons in the desert and deploys special response teams, such as the Border Patrol, Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) units, the journey is still far too dangerous for individuals, especially families travelling with young children, to make the dangerous journey north,” a CBP spokesman told the DCNF in May about the number of migrants who continue to risk their lives to reach the U.S. border.

Border Patrol agents have conducted thousands of rescues this fiscal year alone, with the number of water-related rescues having increased fourfold, according to CBP.

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