Body of Harlingen school district student swept out to sea found on South Padre Island

Waves are seen June 21, 2022, in South Padre Island. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)
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The Cameron County Park Rangers confirmed Monday morning that the body of a 13-year-old girl who was swept away by a rip current on Sunday was found.

The child has not been identified.

On Sunday, the park rangers said they received a call at approximately 7:15 a.m. about two distressed swimmers about a quarter mile north of Beach Access No. 5.

One of the swimmers, a 7-year-old girl, was rescued, but the 13 year old, a Harlingen resident, was missing and no longer visible.

She was last seen wearing gray shorts and a black top.

The Coast Guard responded to assist in the search.

The Cameron County Park Rangers said her body was found at approximately 11:10 p.m. Sunday about two miles north of Beach Access No. 5.

The Harlingen school district confirmed on Monday morning that the child was an 8th grader at Vernon Middle School.

In a statement, Superintendent Dr. J.A. Gonzalez and the district’s board of trustees confirmed the tragic loss.

“Our school community embraces every student as one of our own children, and we mourn with the family and friends of this bright, young lady who was on her journey to high school in just a few months,” the statement reads.

The district is providing a counseling team for students and staff who need assistance.

“We pray for her loved ones and send our deepest condolences,” the district said in the statement.

Gerald Gathright, chief executive officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Harlingen, said the organization is devastated to learn of the tragic loss of the child who participated at the club.

“We pray for an overwhelming comfort and peace for her mother, siblings and extended family as they navigate this tragedy. The Boys & Girls club of Harlingen loves and honors all children and the inconsolable loss of such a precious child is unbearable for all without the saving grace and the mystery of eternal life with the Lord. We join the community in lifting up this family with support and protection,” Gathright said in a statement.

She would have graduated on Friday.

Here’s the latest update: 

Funeral services set for Harlingen student who drowned on Island