DEL RIO, Texas — A 7-year-old Venezuelan child drowned in the Rio Grande after being swept from her mother’s arms Tuesday. The child’s mother attempted to ford the river near the Del Rio International Bridge.
A Customs and Border Protection source says Texas Army National Guard soldiers witnessed the event and alerted the Border Patrol shortly after 7:00 a.m. The child’s mother managed to reach the U.S. shoreline safely.
Border Patrol agents responded to the area and began a search. Authorities in Mexico were notified for a parallel operation. At approximately 10:00 am, a drowned child matching the description was recovered in Mexico.
The lifeless body was found by members of a Grupo Beta airboat crew. The child wore blue jeans and a red sweater.
The location of the drowning is a common crossing that affords shallow access along a weir dam. The dam can create strong currents as the water flow surges across the irrigation structure.
A news report by Zocalo says the death of the unidentified minor is being investigated by Mexico’s Agencia de Investigacion Criminal (AIC). According to the Zocalo, 166 migrants lost their lives along the Coahuila-Texas border in 2021. Four have died since the start of 2022 along the same stretch.
The number of migrants who went missing or are known to have died along the U.S.-Mexico Border hit an all-time high in 2021.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.