Search underway for missing 2-year-old girl after mother crosses Rio Grande River, Border Patrol says

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Border Patrol agents are searching for a missing toddler in the Rio Grande River, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a release Tuesday.

A woman detained by agents from the Del Rio Border Patrol station said she lost her child, a 2-year-old girl from Brazil, while crossing the river from Mexico Monday.

The search for the missing toddler was conducted overnight and continued throughout the next day with resources from both the U.S. Border Patrol and Mexico.

“Any time a child is lost it is a tragic event,” said Del Rio Sector Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz in a statement. “I can not imagine the anguish the parents of this young girl must be feeling and I hope our search efforts pay off with a positive outcome.”

Border Patrol said Wednesday morning there was no update on the search.

Higher-than-average snowfall in the Rocky Mountains is sending more water into the Rio Grande and adjacent canals, creating deceptively swift waters. Border agents say they are rescuing immigrants from the river on an almost daily basis.

A look inside: Government watchdog photos show dangerous conditions at Border Patrol sites for migrants

The agency came under fire in June after a Salvadoran migrant and his 23-month-old daughter drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to enter the United States. The photos of their bodies sparked international outrage and heated debate over U.S. immigration policies.

A total of 283 migrant deaths were recorded last year, according to Border Patrol data, which is the lowest it has been since 2015.

The acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection John Sanders said he will be stepping down this Friday. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed in a statement last Thursday that Mark Morgan, who was named acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month, will take over.

Contributing: Michael James, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT

This article originally appeared on San Angelo Standard-Times: Search underway for missing 2-year-old girl after mother crosses Rio Grande River, Border Patrol says