Family cries for help after search for missing teen called off
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 03:57:25 GMT —
Family and friends have been standing by, waiting along this canal bank south of McAllen for days now.
It's the canal that their loved one, 18-year-old Andres Frias, was swimming in, when he went under and never resurfaced.
Andres' mother is coming to terms with the fact that finding her son alive is not a possibility.
"I know he's not alive anymore, said Andres TM mother, Maria Frias. But I just want his body."
She says when Andres was initially pulled under, the whole family rushed to the scene, as well as the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department.
The family's first reaction was to jump in and find Andres, however the mother says the sheriff's department thought otherwise.
"My husband jumped in the water, my older son jumped in the water, I would have myself jumped in the water, said Mrs. Frias. But one of the sheriffs told me that if I didn't get them out of the water, they would arrest us."
Firefighters were able to send down an underwater camera to try to locate the teen.
There was also a possibility of sending divers down to recover the body after several days.
"When [the divers] do arrive, they still need to assess the situation, they also need to make sure that nobody gets hurt," said McAllen Assistant Fire Chief Rafael Balderas.
The divers were never sent in due to the dangerous currents and murky waters.
Although the efforts were aggressive, the family feels rescue crews were too cautious, and also feel they gave up too soon even though it's nearing a week that Andres was last seen alive.
With rescue operations coming to a complete halt now, the mother's plea is a desperate one.
"What I'm just asking, all the towns around us, which is Pharr, Alamo, San Juan, Mission, Edinburg, Hidalgo, to close the water gates, said Mrs. Frias. So I, or somebody, could go in there and pull him out."