Pharr Teen Still Missing in West Texas

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE (8/23): Officials said it has been nine days since Pharr teen Rene Cervantes Jr. went missing in the Big Ben National Park. 

Park rangers told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they are still looking for him. Boats went out again Wednesday on the Rio Grande. 

The 19-year-old was swimming in the river near a hot springs on Sunday, Aug. 13 when he was swept away by a swift current. 


NEAR HOT SPRINGS – Big Bend National Park Rangers are searching for a missing 19-year-old from Pharr.

Park rangers said Rene Cervantes Jr. was swimming with friends in the Rio Grande near Hot Springs when a swift current swept him downstream. It happened inside the Big Bend National Park just after 1 p.m. Sunday.

River levels are expected to rise overnight and stay elevated for weeks.

Search crews include U.S. Customs and Border Protection using boats, helicopters and ground searchers.

The park reminds visitors to use caution during periods of elevated river levels.

Para leer noticias en español, visite nuestra sección Español.
  • Local News

    • Funding Available for Local School Districts

      School districts are eligible for the funding if they took in students displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

    • Suspects in Weslaco Pawn Shop Theft Arrested

      The two men were on the run after stealing a necklace worth about $5,300.

    • Bus Station Screening, Regulations Explained

      Border Patrol agents seized $148,000 worth of cocaine from a woman traveling on a charter bus on Saturday.  

    • El Valle Detention Facility Contract

      The document describes three phases of growth at the facility in a matter of months.

    • RV Park Residents Want Drainage Ditch Cleared

      A drainage ditch lies in the middle of the neighborhood and a natural preserve.