Officials identify missing Texas Guardsman who tried to save drowning migrants

SPC Bishop E. Evans, 22, disappeared after trying to save 2 migrants near Eagle Pass Friday

Members of the Texas Military Department stand guard along the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Roma, Texas. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) (Gregory Bull, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Officials have identified a missing Texas National Guard Specialist who attempted to save two migrants from drowning in the Rio Grande on Friday.

Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans, 22, disappeared after trying to save two migrants who appeared to be drowning in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, the Texas Military Department said.

The search for SPC Evans, assigned to Operation Lone Star, continued for a third day on Sunday after search and rescue teams had to pause dive operations Saturday evening due to the strength of the river’s current, according to a news release.

The search continues with the addition of three airboats from the Texas Department of Public Safety, officials said.

Gov. Greg Abbott shared a picture of SPC Evans on social media Sunday, calling the guardsman “a hero.”

A Texas Rangers’ investigation revealed that the two migrants were involved in “illicit transnational narcotics trafficking,” authorities said. The two migrants are now in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Officials said SPC Evans, a field artilleryman from Arlington, is assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels. He joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019.

He returned in the fall of 2020 from mobilization to Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait, officials said.

“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 Texas Military Department said.

Officials said they will continue the search for the missing soldier until they have exhausted all available resources.

We’ll bring more updates to this story as they become available.

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About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.