James P. Epling
End of Watch
December 16, 2003
Border Patrol Agent was reported missing while responding to sensor activity along the Colorado River near Andrade, California. While apprehending two Chinese illegal immigrants, one from drowning in the Colorado River. Agent Epling was attempting to apprehend other illegal immigrants along the river when he suddenly disappeared. A massive rescue operation was initiated and continued for three days. He was found on December 19, 2003, in the Colorado, approximately 200 yards from where he initially disappeared. Agent Epling died as a result of accidental drowning.
Agent Epling was 24 years old and was a graduate of the 537th session of the Border Patrol Academy. He was assigned to the Yuma Station. He was survived by his expectant wife and three children.