Family and friends are searching in Imperial Beach for a 9-year-old boy last seen on Easter Sunday at Playa El Bebé in Rosarito, Mexico.
Eric Gilberto Ochoa, 9, was playing with two other children when they were pulled out to sea, the boy’s family told NBC 7.
One child drowned and her body was found minutes after the incident. Another child was able to make it back to shore and went to get help.
Eric, however, has not been seen since.
“On the side of Rosarito, my dad has been looking, you know, with the helicopters, with some people that wanted to help, with the Marine Corps from over there,” said Hilary Alarid, the missing boy’s sister.
“They’ve been trying to see if they find something and nothing has been found.”
Family members have even checked with nearby hospitals, hoping a child without identification was brought in for treatment.
Authorities told the family that if the child drowned, his body could end up on the U.S.
side of the border. The currents of the ocean move from Tijuana to Imperial Beach or the area of Friendship Park.
“They said that it was so, so strong that he was probably already on this side of the United States,” Alarid said.
Now, the boy’s family is asking the community to volunteer to search the shoreline at Imperial Beach, California Wednesday for any sign of the child.
“Some of them I don’t know and I just met right now and I’m really glad they’re here to help me,” Alarid said.
Carmina Torres saw Alarid’s call for help in a Facebook video and joined the search Tuesday night because she felt compelled to help the family.
“I think a lot of people like me, when you have children, you relate to the pain and despair of not finding your child,” Torres said. “And that was what motivated me to help.
Alarid said she is glad community members have noticed her video and have come to her aid.
“I made that video — didn’t think it was going to get that viral.
I’m glad it did so I can get help,” Alarid said. “Some of them I don’t know and I just met right now, and I’m really glad they’re here to help me.
Lifeguards in Imperial Beach told NBC 7 they were aware of the incident in Rosarito but were not deploying any search and rescue teams to search U.S.
waters. They said they were keeping an eye out for any sign of the child.
Get the latest from NBC 7 San Diego anywhere, anytimeDownload the App
Available for IOS and AndroidFollow NBC 7 San Diego.