An eleven day search that brought together more than 150 emergency responders from across the Rio Grande Valley came to an end Sunday when crews spotted and recovered the body of missing Pharr teen Andres Frias.
Only four hours after draining a canal off on McColl and Whalen Roads, firefighters from recovered the 18-year-old TMs body from an underground pipe.
"Last night beginning at about 11:30 we were able to pump out the water and send an entry team in, Wendy Smith, McAllen TMs Emergency Management Coordinator, said. We did discover the body about 2 this morning."
Starting Saturday night, emergency and public works crews from several Valley cities placed berms along the canal where family members last saw the teen alive over a week ago.
"This was a unique situation where it TMs a pipe that's three stories deep that we had to make entry into," Smith explained.
After draining the more than 2000 foot long pipe, eight firefighters from McAllen and Pharr plunged three stories down to recover the body.
Smith said it was not an easy task.
"It wasn't at all safe with the water flowing, but cutting off the water isn't as simple as it sounds, she added. It does affect other cities. It's a very difficult and technical process to berm both sides of this half mile long pipe."
Rescue crews turned over Frias' remains to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, a standard procedure, according to Smith.
Once autopsy results are completed, they then hand him over to his loved ones.
"Our condolences go out to the family and we are relieved that we are able to offer some closure," Smith concluded.
Andres Frias TM parents opted not to speak to the media, asking for some time to grieve.
His father Jose Frias briefly told Action 4 News that they were happy to be able to give him a proper burial.
They also said they are very thankful for all the support the community has shown.
The family added that they are unprepared to deal with the expenses of funeral, and asked for the additional support.
Anyone wishing to help out the parents can stop by the IBC Bank and donate to the account under Andres TM father, Jose Adrian Frias.