The body of a missing Texas Army National Guard soldier has been found, according to FOX News correspondent Bill Melugin.
22-year-old Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans of Arlington went missing while trying to rescue migrants in a river at the state’s border with Mexico, Texas officials said Thursday. The area he went missing in is a section of the river known for strong currents.
Though Evans removed his body armor before entering the Rio Grande, he did not resurface.
"We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop E. Evans who was reported missing in Eagle Pass on Friday," Abbott said Monday. ""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."
"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," Abbott continued in his statement. "The Texas Military Department will continue to provide more updates to the public as they become available. I ask that Texans join Cecilia and me in praying for the family and friends of SPC Evans as they grieve this heartbreaking loss."
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"Texas National Guard Specialist Bishop Evans is a hero who risked his life in service to Texas & America." (Greg Abbott) (Greg Abbott)
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- Texas National Guard soldier missing after mission to rescue migrants from river: sources
The Texas Rangers lead the search for Evans, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Parks and Wildlife, and Border Patrol officials. The search for Evans included parties in boats and helicopters. The two migrants survived and are in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, according to The Texas Tribune.
"We are devastated by the loss of a member of our Guard family," said Maj Gen Tom Suelzer, Adjutant General for Texas. "We recognize the selflessness of this heroic Soldier who put his life above others in service to our state and national security. The Texas Military Department sends our deepest condolences to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time"
Spc. Evans was a field artilleryman assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels and joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019. He returned in fall 2020 from mobilization to Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait.