Family members of 20-year-old Edinburg resident Eric Samora say he was likely looking for quick and easy money when he agreed to help smuggle undocumented immigrants around the Falfurrias checkpoint.
"He had to be convinced to do it, be I know my brother I know that he wouldn TMt have done it if it didn TMt feel right," his brother Raymond Samora Jr. said.
It happened exactly a week ago today near the San Manuel area.
The smuggling attempt was foiled and Eric ran and hid trying to avoid being caught be authorities.
His cousin who was with him promised to go back for him but never did.
The next day his mother learned Eric was missing and the last words he spoke to his cousin.
"He told me (his cousin) that he was scared, he was thirsty and there were two persons running behind him," Eva Zamora said.
Eric TMs family has spent the last five days searching the vast ranchlands of Brooks County.
They know he may be near death and that every second counts.
This year 50 undocumented immigrants have succumbed to the elements in Brooks County trying to walk around the Falfurrias checkpoint.
The sweltering heat and sand like dirt makes the area a death sentence to anyone who is unprepared or becomes lost.
Although Eric was allegedly committing a crime when he became lost, the Brooks County Sheriff TMs office and Border Patrol have been actively looking for Eric hoping to find him alive.
His disappearance is a reminder of how the immigration crisis is leaving a footprint on the lives of Rio Grande Valley residents.
"Living here with that type of situation going on here in the Valley, every parent should advise their kids, whether they are young, teenager or in their 20s to stay away of things like that," Raymond said.
Eric had recently finished studying to become an accountant and is the father of a baby girl.
His family says they would rather him be alive in a jail cell than die in the ranchlands because of a decision he made hoping to make some easy cash.