ADDS THAT PHOTO WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN MEXICAN NEWSPAPER LA JORNADA - EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. Martinez' wife, Tania told Mexican authorities she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current. This photograph was first published in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. (AP Photo/Julia Le Duc)

Drowned man's mother: Photo 'shocking,' also 'tenderness'

June 26, 2019 - 12:09 pm

SAN MARTIN, El Salvador (AP) — The mother of a man who drowned alongside his 23-month-old daughter while trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas says she feels a hole that "nobody can fill."

Rosa Ramírez says she begged Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez not to leave, and if he had to, to leave young Valeria with her.

The two were swept away by the current Sunday near Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas. A photo of the discovery of their bodies shows the girl tucked into Martínez's shirt for protection and her arm draped over his neck.

Ramirez told AP on Wednesday that the image is "tough" and "shocking." But at the same time she sees "tenderness."

In her words: "You can see how he protected her, they died in each other's arms."

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