Texas mom Brandy Mosley, 33, disappeared in the Galveston, Texas, surf after saving her 4-year-old son from what officials tell PEOPLE were “rough, large” waves on Monday.
The salon owner from Palestine, Texas, was with friends and family on vacation in Crystal Beach when she went missing around 1:30 p.m.
At the time, Mosley’s son was standing 25 feet from the water’s edge when rough water knocked him down.
“He lost his footing and was having trouble regaining his footing,” Maj. Douglas Hudson of the Galveston Sheriff’s Office tells PEOPLE. “She saw him in distress and retrieved him.”
Mosley grabbed her son and passed him to another adult. But when that person turned back to speak with the mother, she was gone.
“We’re not sure if it was an undercurrent or riptide that grabbed hold of her or if she was knocked down by another wave,” says Hudson. “We don’t have a witness, all we know is she went under and never resurfaced.”
About a month before the hero mom dove into the turbulent Texas waters to save her son, she posted about him on her Facebook page.
“When your 3 year old tells you, ‘I’ll always love you. And, I’ll always keep you at my house. And, I’ll always love your eyebrows,’ you must be doing something right,” she wrote in May.
On Monday, authorities discovered a body on a beach about two miles from where Mosley disappeared. Tattoos and clothing on the body match descriptions of the mother, Galveston Sheriff’s Office confirms to PEOPLE, but they are still awaiting official confirmation from the medical examiner.
“We believe it’s her,” says Hudson.