FREEPORT, TX – A Freeport family is mourning the loss of their son after the airman went missing on Sunday at the beach.
According to the family of 22-year-old Elijah Posana, he disappeared after he jumped into the water to save two of his younger cousins from a rip current.
Posana was an active-duty security response team member and currently stationed with the 509th Security Forces Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. He was in Freeport while on leave for three weeks.
After searching approximately 100 square miles for over 28 hours, the Coast Guard called off the search.
But for Mr.Posana the search wasn't over and he continued to look for his son.
Then on Tuesday, as he drove down the shore one more time, he spotted his son's body and pulled him from the water by himself.
"There was nobody around us. No police. No Coast Guard. Nobody was looking for him. He was just laying on the shore," said Evangilyn Froelich, Elijah's cousin. "And, his dad -- Elijah's dad -- had to go to the water and drag his son out of the water with no help."
According to his family, Posana was celebrating his sister's birthday with the family.
"We are deeply saddened at the outcome of the search," Lt. Col. Devin Sproston, 509th Security Forces commander said to national media. "Every defender on our team is part of the fabric of this unit, this base, and our security forces family. We held out hope until the last second that our airman would be found alive."