ACUÑA, Mexico – The search for a Brazilian girl lost in the Rio Grande River Monday night continued Wednesday afternoon on both sides of the border.
U.S. Border Patrol agents and Civil Protection and Fire Department first responders from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico received support from a Border Patrol helicopter from Del Rio, as the search for the two-year-old was completing its first 48 hours.
Javier Félix Ríos, Director of Civil Protection in Ciudad Acuña, said the girl went missing Monday night near the international bridge, when her parents were crossing to Del Rio.
The girl, he said, is a Brazilian national, but her parents are from Haiti.
According to Acuña’s municipal officials the mother of the girl, whose name has not been released, was crossing the river along with a group of 10 adults near the Braulio Fernández Aguirre Park, which is located some 300 feet from the shelter where dozens of asylum-seekers from different countries are housed.
As of press time civil protection officials continued the search along with members of the Beta Group on a boat, supported by the Border Patrol helicopter.
The mother was carrying the girl on her arms, officials said, but as the group was crossing the river in the dark she lost her.Despite her efforts the mother was not able to recover her daughter.
Once the group crossed to the U.S. side they were apprehended by Border Patrol agents and reported the missing child.
The search for the missing girl started Monday night, with U.S. and Mexican authorities participating including the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue, Air and Marine Operations, City of Acuña Fire and Civil Protection Department, Beta Group, Mexican Army and the Mexican Federal Police.
The shelter at the Braulio Fernández Aguirre Park is guarded by Mexican Federal Police officers and the Mexican Army, but the migrants roam freely throughout the site, approaching the Rio Grande as the News-Herald’s correspondent witnessed during his Wednesday visit to the site.
As of press time the girl remains missing and officials believe she may have been dragged by the current several miles down the stream, due to her light weight, possibly all the way to Eagle Pass.