The body of a Texas National Guard soldier who drowned in the Rio Grande River while trying to save two illegal aliens was recovered Monday.
On Sunday, officials revealed the identity of the missing soldier as Specialist Bishop E. Evans, 22, from Arlington, Texas.
Evans never resurfaced Friday after reportedly jumping into the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas, in attempts to rescue two illegal aliens, who were later apprehended on transnational narcotics trafficking charges.
“It is unclear if the military member knew of their alleged criminal activity when he jumped to their rescue,” reports the Daily Mail.
On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed the soldier’s body had been located after three days of searching.
We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop Evans.
He heroically served his state & country.
I want to thank all rescue teams that worked to locate this soldier.
Join me & Cecilia in praying for the family & friends of SPC Evans. pic.twitter.com/xwSZlqEGhT
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 25, 2022
“Our National Guard soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others and we are eternally grateful for the way SPC Evans heroically served his state and country,” Abbott said in a statement.
“I thank the members of the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Border Patrol, and local law enforcement for working around the clock to locate this soldier.”
Speaking to the Washington Post, local President for the Border Patrol Union in the Del Rio Jon Anfinsen indicated the section of the river Evans attempted to traverse was deceptive and fast-moving.
“Sometimes you see migrants use an inner tube, but in this part of the river, people hold hands and walk across in a human chain,” Anfinsen explained.
“If they step in a hole, that’s it. The river looks calm and walkable but it’s fast-moving and deceiving.”
Anfinsen added the area where Evans went missing is particularly dangerous, saying at least 11 dead illegals had been discovered on the US side of the river in the past month alone, with 12 more found on the Mexican side.
Authorities recovered body armor and a walkie talkie belonging to Evans on Friday, two hours into the search.
Governor Abbott and others commemorated Evans’ sacrifice over the weekend.
Texas National Guard Specialist Bishop Evans is a hero who risked his life in service to Texas & America.
Law enforcement & rescue teams continue a relentless search for him.
Join us in prayer for a successful recovery.
Updates will be provided when they become available. pic.twitter.com/nULof4gcwl
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 24, 2022
Heidi and I are praying for the Texas Army National Guard Soldier and my team and I are monitoring reports of what happened today very closely.
God bless our men and women in uniform.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 22, 2022
Before todays congressional delegation at the border, I was able to speak with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) briefly about the passing of National Guard Spc. Bishop Evans, who’s body was recovered today.
He died trying to save drowning migrants crossing into U.S. pic.twitter.com/zGzyQ6CXKx
— Anthony Cabassa (@AnthonyCabassa_) April 25, 2022
Evans’ death comes as the Biden administration has signaled it will next month lift the Trump-era Covid restriction on immigration that allowed for speedy deportations known as Title 42, which Border Patrol officials and even Democrat lawmakers have warned could release a flood of illegal aliens that threaten to overwhelm Border Patrol and DHS resources.
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