An attempt to cross to the United States to seek a better life ended in disaster after Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 2 year-old daughter, Valeria, died and their bodies were found on the riverbanks.
The father and daughter died as the girl’s mother, Ramirez’s wife watched.
According to the mother, Tania, the two disappeared into strong currents on Sunday.
Tania said the water was rough and while her husband, with the daughter, approached the US side of the river, he began to tire.
She however managed to swim back where she faced her family perishing in the tragedy as they were swept away.
Officials said the family arrived last weekend in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico, and planned to apply for asylum in the US before disaster struck.
Mexican authorities found their bodies on Monday close to where they were last seen alive.
The father reportedly hoped to find a job to support his family and buy a house, his mum said.
The head of US Customs and Border Protection has since resigned after images of the duo started circulating.
There have been reports of children suffering in holding centres along the border and six children have since died since September and the US police have been blamed.