HOUSTON — A body spotted by a passerby in the White Oak Bayou Tuesday is the teen who disappeared over the weekend, according to family members.
During heavy rainfall on Friday the pickup truck the teen was traveling in sailed off a bridge near Fairbanks North Houston Road around midnight and plunged into the bayou. At the time of the incident, officials said the swift-moving bayou was about 20 feet higher than normal.
Family members said 18-year-old Eric Cabrera, who is survived by a 2-year-old son, studied electronics at Houston’s Can Academy Charter School.
Cabrerra’s friends and relatives had been combing the banks of White Oak Bayou since Saturday looking for any sign of him.
He was nowhere to be found when crews pulled his vehicle out of the water over the weekend.
Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office used all-terrain vehicles on Sunday and Monday to search a wooded area near the bayou just north of Tidwell. They said a lot of debris washed up after Friday night’s heavy rains.
James McClain was just on his bike riding home from work Tuesday when he spotted something unusual.
“I work at Jack in the Box. I just got off of work and I am riding by. I am looking down you know, and I see the body,” McClain said.
At first he thought it was an animal, but a second glance made it clear exactly what he was seeing.
“Oh man it just messed my stomach up,” McClain said in the minutes after he called 911.
Investigators were able to make the preliminary ID on Cabrera early on, thanks to distinctive tattoos on his body.
At first it was believed that Cabrera’s 17-year-old girlfriend was with him at the time of the crash because a witness said they saw two people before the accident. But the girlfriend has since been located and was not a passenger in the vehicle.