Pharr Teen Still Missing in West Texas

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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.


7 Days