June 29, 2022



Search continues for Texas National Guard soldier missing in Eagle Pass

3 min read

Multiple agencies are still searching for a Texas Army National Guard soldier who went missing along the river in Eagle Pass Friday during a mission-related incident, according to the Texas Military Department (TMD). The multi-agency search includes the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Rangers and Border Patrol. 

The missing soldier was identified Sunday as 22-year-old Bishop E. Evans, a Texas Army National Guard specialist. Evans went missing after allegedly trying to rescue two migrants who appeared to be drowning while crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the U.S., according to the TMD. Evans’s family was notified Friday evening, the agency said.  

Dive teams were forced to halt rescue operations Saturday evening due to the river’s strong, fast current, according to the TMD. Rescue efforts resumed Sunday morning with the addition of three airboats from the Texas DPS. 

“The search for the missing TMD soldier will continue until we have exhausted all available resources,” the TMD wrote in a statement Saturday. “The Texas Military Department is thankful to all interagency partners for their continued support in this operation to locate our missing soldier. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of the soldier.”

Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin on Sunday posted photos on Twitter of Evans, courtesy of his family. Evans, a field artilleryman from Arlington, is assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels and joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019. He joined Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait in the fall of 2020, according to the TMD. 

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“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 statement said. 

Though initial reports on Friday indicated that Evans had drowned, the TMD later released a statement that day saying that a body recovered was likely that of a migrant and that the soldier had still not been found.

On Friday, Texas DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez told the Washington Post that Evans was carried away by a swift current while attempting to rescue a migrant in the water. Powerful river currents have resulted in at least 10 drownings this week alone, Olivarez added.

Evans was assigned to Gov. Greg Abbott’s controversial Operation Lone Star. The now multi-billion-dollar border security program was launched by the Republican leader in March 2021 to try to stop the flow of drugs and undocumented immigrants into Texas through Mexico.

Abbott released a statement saying his office continues to work with the Texas National Guard and other law enforcement agencies to search for Evans and would provide updates as more details become available. 

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“Texas National Guard Specialist Bishop Evans is a hero who risked his life in service to Texas & America,” Abbott posted Sunday on Twitter along with a photo of Evans. “Law enforcement & rescue teams continue a relentless search for him. Join us in prayer for a successful recovery.”

The incident comes as the state grapples with migrants crossing the border. Customs and Border Protection recorded 221,303 migrant encounters in March, according to a monthly report. In addition, U.S. border authorities arrested 210,000 migrants in March, the highest monthly total in two decades. This number marks a 24-percent increase from the same month in 2021 when 169,000 migrants were arrested at the border. 


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