TEXAS, USA — A Texas Army National Guard soldier assigned to Operation Lone Star has gone missing along the river during a mission-related incident, the Texas Military Department says.
22-year-old Specialist Bishop E. Evans went missing on Friday in Eagle Pass. The Texas Rangers are leading the search efforts, assisted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Parks and Wildlife, and Border Patrol representatives. Search efforts continued Saturday and the Texas Military Department notified the family of the missing soldier Friday evening. The search was halted again Saturday due to the river's currents which made dive efforts challenging, officials said.
Search and rescue operations resumed again Sunday morning with the addition of three airboats from the DPS.
"We are aware of reports of a fatality, although those reports are inaccurate," the release says.
Around 4 p.m. Friday Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that his office is doing what it can to assist with the search.
Abbott tweeted a photo of Specialist Evans on Sunday evening, calling him a hero who risked his life in service to Texas and America.
The Texas Military Department, Texas DPS and Border Patrol are working to find Evans, but later on Friday evening officials told KENS 5 that strong river currents forced search-and-rescue teams to leave the water.
The Texas Military Department said, "the service member selflessly attempted to help two migrants who appeared to be drowning as they illegally crossed the river from Mexico to the United States."
Officials said initial reports indicated that the Texas Rangers determined that the migrants were involved in illicit transnational narcotics trafficking. They are currently in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
"We will continue the search for our soldier until we have exhausted all possible resources," officials said in a release.
TMD said SPC Evans is a field artilleryman from Arlington, Texas, and is assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels. He joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019. You can read more about SPC Evans here.