An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. National Media Release
  4. Woman and child dead after they were recovered unresponsive in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass

Woman and child dead after they were recovered unresponsive in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass

Release Date
Fri, 07/07/2023

On July 1, 2023, at approximately 4:35 p.m., a Border Patrol agent assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol Eagle Pass Station was patrolling the riverbank of the Rio Grande north of the Shelby Park Boat Ramp approximately 3.5 miles north of the Eagle Pass Port of Entry when he heard sounds of people struggling in the water. The agent walked towards the sounds and observed several migrants struggling to stay afloat while attempting to swim back to Mexico. In this area, the Rio Grande is approximately 264 feet wide with a moderately steep uneven embankment and a muddy river’s edge. The area is sparsely vegetated due to the City of Eagle Pass recently having cleared out the brush.

The agent called for assistance from a boat unit at approximately 4:35 p.m. The agent was able to assist one adult female migrant onto the U.S. shore. Two Texas Department of Public Safety patrol boats arrived and were able to rescue two migrants from the river and recovered two additional unresponsive migrants at approximately 4:43 p.m. Texas DPS personnel performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on one adult female and one infant female migrant and transferred them to Border Patrol agents on the riverbank. Agents requested emergency medical assistance at their location via radio at approximately 4:45 p.m. Shortly after the arrival of the Texas DPS boats, two Border Patrol agent Emergency Medical Technicians arrived and alternated performing CPR for both migrants, rotating in other Border Patrol agents as agents became fatigued. Agents and Texas DPS EMTs utilized an automated external defibrillator on both migrants until EMS arrived. The AEDs did not recommend a shock for either migrant.

Eagle Pass Fire Department medical personnel arrived on scene and took over care of the two unresponsive migrants at approximately 4:58 p.m. At that time, neither migrant was breathing or had a pulse. The Eagle Pass Fire Department EMS ambulance departed the scene and transported the two unresponsive migrants to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center in Eagle Pass, Texas at approximately 5:10 p.m. One Border Patrol agent EMT and one Texas DPS EMT accompanied the unresponsive migrants in the ambulance to the hospital to aid in performing CPR while one agent followed in a marked Border Patrol unit to establish hospital watch. The Eagle Pass Fire Department ambulance arrived at the medical center at approximately 5:19 p.m.

The two unresponsive migrants, later identified as an adult female citizen of Guatemala, and an infant female citizen of Guatemala, were pronounced deceased by doctors at the medical center at approximately 5:58 p.m.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Professional Responsibility special agents conducted interviews of three adult migrants who were rescued during this incident.  One adult female migrant described the river as rising higher and higher as they tried to cross. Another rescued adult female migrant described the river as chest high but rising until she lost her balance and began to float. The adult male migrant who was interviewed stated the group was floating in the river for between 10 and 20 minutes before the rescue boats arrived. None of the migrants reported having observed the decedents while they were in the river. OPR special agents confirmed there is no video of the incident and there were no buoys or other obstructions installed in this area of the river.

This incident is being reviewed by CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility. The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General was also notified.

Last Modified: Jan 04, 2024