A body has been found in the search for two missing 13-year-old twin brothers who vanished in while wading in chest-deep water near a Texas pier, despite both being unable to swim.
The body was recovered in Galveston, Texas, that matches the description of one of the missing twin boys, Josue and Jefferson Perez.
Authorities said four people were walking by and noticed the body. They then pulled the body to the shore and alerted 911, Galveston Island Beach Patrol said.
The two boys had travelled from their Houston home for a day at the beach and were last seen playing near the Pleasure Pier on Sunday around 4:30pm some 20 yards from the shore.
The family ‘briefly lost sight of them’ and no one saw the twins go underwater, authorities said.
Josue and Jefferson Perez, 13-year-old twin brothers, were last seen at around 4:30pm on Sunday near the Pleasure Pier in Galveston
Police have been searching sine Sunday evening. They will continue to look for the other body
The Pleasure Pier in Galveston is a popular tourist site off the coast of Houston. From March 11 there will be lifeguards on the beach when the main swimming season begins
Lt. Austin Kirwin with Galveston Beach Patrol made the announcement yesterday that a body matching the description had been found by passersby.
He said at an an outside press conference: ‘Once we did make the scene, we determined that it did meet the description of the missing twins from the other day, and then we worked on notifying the family.’
Lt. Kirwin confirmed authorities would continue their search for the remaining missing body but stressed ‘everything out in this water is very unpredictable’ and there was no certainty that they would find another body soon.
When Josue and Jefferson Perez vanished, the rip currents around the pier were described as strong, and the sea temperature was a chilly 67F.
Following the initial raising of the alarm from the boys’ family on their disappearance, Galveston search and rescue teams scoured the area with helicopters and jet skis.
Lt. Kirwin said Monday: ‘Nobody confirms seeing them go underwater.
‘So essentially what happened is they were out in the water, the parents briefly lost sight of them, and they looked back up into that area, and they did not see them any longer.’
The Galveston County Community Emergency Response Team, Beach Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, and volunteers have been out searching since 5.30pm on Sunday night. Divers are also assisting the teams.
Kirwin said weather conditions were hampering the search.
‘The real limiting factor for us right now is this fog rolling in,’ he said at the previous press conference on Monday.
Lt. Austin Kirwin, with Galveston Beach Patrol, said Tuesday that authorities would continue to search for the second body
Resuers are continuing their search for a second body after the first was discovered by passersby
‘That’s going to inhibit us from being able to search as well as we want to.
‘Also, the water is still relatively cold. It’s about 67F this morning, so without a wetsuit, the length of time you can be in that water is diminished.’
He noted that the waters swirling around objects jetting into the sea – such as jetties and the Pleasure Pier – were dangerous, because strong currents can create rips.
‘In the event that you do get caught in a rip current, the key point is, do not panic,’ he said.
‘If you just relax and try to keep your calm, the current will eventually bring you back to shore.
‘The main killer in drownings is that panic mode.’
Lifeguards will be on the beach from March 11, when the main swimming season begins.