Missing 2-year-old at U.S.-Mexico border prompts search of Rio Grande River

A Haitian woman detained by Customs and Border Patrol told authorities she lost her daughter, who is a Brazilian national, while crossing the river from Mexico.
Image: Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents lead search for missing 2-year-old Haitian girl in Rio Grande River.
Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents lead search for missing 2-year-old Haitian girl in Rio Grande River.CBP South Texas

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By Ben Kesslen

A search has been underway since Monday evening in the Rio Grande River at the U.S. border for a missing 2-year-old girl.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said in a statement Tuesday that on July 1 agents detained a woman from Haiti who told authorities she lost her daughter while crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico. The woman said her daughter is 2 and a Brazil national.

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents lead search for missing 2-year-old Haitian girl in Rio Grande River.CBP South Texas

Authorities said Border Patrol agents have been searching the river since Monday evening, with the help of a remotely operated underwater vehicle, a dive team, and Mexican authorities.

“Any time a child is lost it is a tragic event,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz.

The news comes a week after Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria died while trying to cross the Rio Grande on June 23. An image of the father and daughter dead in the water caused an uproar and heightened attention on the often dangerous conditions for migrants and refugees trying to cross into the United States.