LAREDO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A U.S. Army soldier rescued an unaccompanied child this week who was struggling to get out of the Rio Grande River on the U.S. side.

“It is frustrating to me as a parent to see a young child left by smugglers to fend for herself in the swift currents of the Rio Grande River. With the aid of technology, the smuggling attempt was detected and a U.S. Army soldier supporting our agents was able to quickly get to the lone child and pull her out of the water to safety,” said Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak.

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The soldier, who was deployed in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saved the girl the evening of April 19. Her rescue happened after the soldier saw several undocumented individuals attempt to cross the river illegally into the United States. When three of the four individuals in the group turned back to the Mexican side of the river, the soldier noticed the fourth person left behind was the young girl.

The child was later identified as an undocumented individual from El Salvador and didn’t need any medical assistance. She was turned over to Health and Human Services.

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The soldiers, who are under the operational command of U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s lead for their support mission, are supporting CBP in the Laredo area. It’s the second time this year that soldiers in support of CBP along the Southern border have helped save a life in the river. The river has areas with swift moving waters that are dangerous to those who attempt to cross.


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