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Willacy County sheriff: 2 found dead in search for 5 missing individuals after boat capsizes in Port Mansfield

7 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Saturday, February 19 2022 Feb 19, 2022 February 19, 2022 10:44 AM February 19, 2022 in News - Local

Search efforts are continuing for three people missing in the waters off of Port Mansfield after a boat capsized late Thursday night.

Nine individuals in the boat had gone missing, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.

Two of the missing individuals were found deceased Saturday morning, Willacy County Sheriff Jose Salazar

Rescue efforts started before midnight on Friday when the body of a 29-year-old woman from Honduras with a government-issued ID was found floating in the water.

RELATED: Port Mansfield PD, Willacy County Sheriff's Office suspending search for 5 missing individuals after boat capsizes

Port Mansfield police Chief David Mayes said he believes the woman was being smuggled into the country. An autopsy is pending for the woman.

Three men were recovered Friday afternoon and are in stable condition.

The men are being interviewed by U.S. Coast Guard personnel to help them better focus their search efforts. 

The Port Mansfield Police Department and Willacy County Sheriff's Officer suspended the search Friday night, but have since resumed the search. Sheriff Salazar said they are assisting the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in recovering the capsized boat.

Salazar added that they are working to confirm if the nine individuals were part of a human smuggling attempt. 

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