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HOUSTON Friends and family members of a pair of teens believed to have drowned in the White Oak Bayou continued to hold out hope as sheriff s deputies spent hours searching for the victims.

The pickup truck they were traveling in sailed off a bridge near Fairbanks North Houston Road and plunged into the bayou during heavy rainfall around midnight on Friday.

Family members identified the driver as 18-year-old Eric Cabrera. They said the passenger was his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Cabrera, who is survived by a 2-year-old son, studied electronics at Houston s Can Academy Charter School.

His mother spoke outside her north Houston home but asked not to be identified.

In my mind he s still alive, she said. I just wish he would call or come home because I miss my son very much.

Deputies called off their search around sundown, but planned to resume their efforts first thing in the morning.

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.

Cabrera and his girlfriend were in a truck when it went into the fast-moving water, but the two were nowhere to be found when crews pulled out the vehicle.

At the time of the incident, officials said the swift-moving bayou was about 20 feet higher than normal.

One of Cabrera s neighbors called the news was hard to digest.

I just don t understand how something like this could happen, said Ron Dickson. It s really a shock to me.

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