A Texas National Guard soldier reportedly went missing Friday morning after trying to save a woman who appeared to be struggling as she illegally crossed the Rio Grande River to Texas from Mexico.
More video of the scene as local, state, and federal law enforcement continue to search for the missing TX National Guard soldier who went missing in the water over 7 hours ago and sources tell us is presumed to have drowned. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/ZfKybJMcxB
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 22, 2022
“He dove in to get her, and he never came back up,” Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber told the Daily Mail. The Guardsman has been missing since he jumped in the river to save the woman at around 8:30 am CT.
The sheriff revealed that the Guardsman, who has yet to be identified, entered the water when he noticed a group of migrants attempting to cross the river and a female member of the group that appeared to be in distress.
According to Schmerber, who was called to the scene more than an hour after the soldier failed to resurface, the trooper immediately dove into the area of river near Eagle Pass International Bridge in an attempt to rescue her.
“That area of the river is very dangerous this time of year,” the sheriff told the Daily Mail. “Very strong tides and currents. He did not resurface.”
The Texas Military Department said in a statement that an unidentified soldier assigned to Operation Lone Star “has gone missing along a river during a mission-related incident.”
The statement confirmed that “the soldier has not been found,” but called reports of a fatality “inaccurate.”
“The Texas Military Department, Texas DPS and Border Patrol are working rapidly to find the Soldier,” the statement said.
UPDATE: We are now being told the body recovered is not the soldier, it is possibly a migrant, and efforts are ongoing to find his or her body, as the soldier never resurfaced and the situation is still being handled as a drowning. Statement from TX Military Department: @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/5PDkhARHWv
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 22, 2022
The sheriff said the woman who appeared to be struggling with the strong current, did eventually make it to the other side.
“She successfully made it to the US side of the river herself, where she was taken into Border Patrol custody,” where she remained Friday afternoon, Schmerber said.
Border officials sent the rest of her group back to Mexico, the sheriff revealed.
Illegal immigration has soared since Joe Biden assumed office due to the administration’s lax immigration policies. There have already been more than 1 million illegal alien encounters in the first half of Fiscal Year 2022, the Daily Mail reported.
Since October 1, 2021 – the start of fiscal year 2022 – border officers have recorded 1,060,954 incidents with migrants. CBP documented 164,847 interdictions in October; 174,846 in November; and closed out December with 179,252 incidents.
CBP documented 164,847 interdictions in October; 174,846 in November; and closed out December with 179,252 incidents.
Encounters tailed off in January when 154,812 were reported before spiking up to 165,894 in February.
Last year’s fiscal year saw a still-marked 1,734,686 interdictions – a number that’s expected to rise, when the president repeals Trump-era policy Title 42, a law designed to immediately expel migrants to protect the US from COVID, early next month.
The looming policy shift has sparked fears that a further 500,000 migrants a month could begin making the sometimes perilous crossing, often through the raging Rio Grande, which covers a sprawling 1,255 mile segment of the US-Mexico border.
As of Friday afternoon, according to Fox News, dive teams were “still searching the water since the service member was not seen resurfacing from the river.”
But Sheriff Schmerber told DailyMail.com five hours after the incident that it was unlikely the officer was still alive.
“After more than three hours, it is very doubtful,” Schmerber said.
BREAKING: The TX Military Dept. says due to strong currents, search operations must cease for the night for the TX National Guard soldier who is believed to have drowned in Eagle Pass while saving a migrant in the Rio Grande this AM. Family of soldier being notified. @FoxNews
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 23, 2022