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U.S. Border Patrol, Mexican Authorities Search Rio Grande For Missing 2-Year-Old

A search team looks for a 2-year-old girl who went missing in the Rio Grande near the border city of Del Rio, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A search team looks for a 2-year-old girl who went missing in the Rio Grande near the border city of Del Rio, Texas.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement are searching for a 2-year-old girl who went missing in the Rio Grande. They are searching a section of the river near the border city of Del Rio, Texas, which is about 150 miles west of San Antonio.

"Any time a child is lost it is a tragic event," said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz in a statement Tuesday evening. "I can not imagine the anguish the parents of this young girl must be feeling and I hope our search efforts pay off with a positive outcome."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says Border Patrol agents stopped an adult woman from Haiti late Monday after she crossed the border from Mexico and that she told them she had lost her 2-year-old daughter while crossing the river. The child is a Brazilian national.

Agents began searching the river Monday night with help from law enforcement in neighboring Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. Searchers have since added a dive team, a remote-controlled submersible and boats from both the U.S. and Mexico.

The search comes just a week after a father and his nearly 2-year-old daughter from El Salvador drowned in the Rio Grande while trying to cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. The image of the two facedown on the bank of the river has become a haunting symbol of the immigration crisis.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.