Gonales’ district encompasses Eagle Pass, where Evans entered the river to rescue the two people on Friday morning.
“This morning SPC Evans’ body was found and identified by local authorities. This young soldier made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of protecting and serving our country. He will never be forgotten,” the congressman wrote on social media on Monday morning.
Multiple state agencies spent several days searching for Evans before his body was recovered. Search and rescue efforts, which included airboats, were paused multiple times due to the Rio Grande’s overpowering current, according to the TMD.
The TMD reported that the two illegal aliens Evans had tried to rescue are in custody and suspected of “illicit transnational narcotics trafficking.” The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation of Evans’ death.
The 22-year-old Evans was from Arlington, served as a field artilleryman, and had been assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels, per the TMD. He joined the Texas National Guard in May 2019.
“He returned in the fall of 2020 from mobilization to Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait. 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 TMD wrote in a news release on Sunday.
Governor Greg Abbott commented on Evans’ death in a news release after Evans’ body was identified.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop E. Evans who was reported missing in Eagle Pass on Friday,” Abbott stated.
“Our National Guard soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others and we are eternally grateful for the way SPC Evans heroically served his state and country. I thank the members of the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Border Patrol, and local law enforcement for working around the clock to locate this soldier. The Texas Military Department will continue to provide more updates to the public as they become available. I ask that Texans join Cecilia and me in praying for the family and friends of SPC Evans as they grieve this heartbreaking loss.”
Evans was most recently deployed to Operation Lone Star, which commenced in March of last year with the aim of deterring illegal immigration and capturing accused criminals.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."