The body of a missing Texas National Guard soldier has been recovered
Officials in Texas have recovered the body of Specialist Bishop E. Evans, the National Guard soldier who had been missing since Friday. The 22-year-old Evans disappeared in the waters of the Rio Grande after attempting to rescue two migrants crossing from Mexico into the U.S.
Several search and rescue teams worked over the weekend to recover his body. On Monday, the department confirmed the identification of his remains.
"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."
According to the Texas Military Department, Evans was a field artilleryman originally from Arlington, Texas. He first joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019.
He spent time in Kuwait as part of Operation Spartan Shield before returning to Texas in the fall of 2020.
"During this mobilization, his dedication, talents, and tactical prowess led his leadership to regularly assign him to operations in Iraq in support of Special Operations Forces for short periods of time, while then rotating back into Kuwait," the department said.
Evans was trying to help migrants who appeared to be drowning
The department previously said that on Friday Evans hopped into the river after witnessing two people who seemed to be drowning as they attempted to cross into the U.S.
Evans was working with Operation Lone Star, the controversial program started by Gov. Greg Abbott a year ago that is meant to crack down on unauthorized border crossings.
"We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop Evans. He heroically served his state & country," Abbott said on Twitter.
The search effort was delayed Saturday after dive teams had to call off their efforts due to the river's fast-moving current. The search resumed on Sunday, according to the Texas Military Department.
Personnel from the Texas Rangers, the Texas Military Department, the state's Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Border Patrol were all part of the effort.
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