U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, confirmed to The Texas Tribune that 22-year-old Texas National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans was found and confirmed dead after a three-day search.
According to state officials, Evans was attempting to rescue two illegal immigrants struggling to cross the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass.
The Texas Tribune reported Evans was presumed to be missing at about 9:45 a.m. Friday morning, which prompted a full-scale search following his disappearance.
Initial information revealed by the Texas Military Department into Evans’ disappearance suggests that the illegal immigrants he was trying to rescue were reportedly involved in “illicit transnational narcotics trafficking.” The individuals are currently in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol custody.
Evans was part of Operation Lone Star launched by Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, in March to combat the rise of illegal immigration.
The governor also took unprecedented action to secure the border by transporting illegal immigrants from Texas to Washington, D.C.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop E. Evans who was reported missing in Eagle Pass on Friday,” Gov. Abbott said in a press release.
“I ask that Texans join Cecilia and me in praying for the family and friends of SPC Evans as they grieve this heartbreaking loss,” the governor concluded.