2nd child found dead along creek; 1 missing

  • 2nd child found dead along creek; 1 missing

2nd child found dead along creek; 1 missing

A search was launched for the three missing children.

Gila County Sheriff's Office Deputy Phil Smith speaks in Tonto Basin, northeast of Phoenix on November 29, 2019.

A man and four children managed to get out of the vehicle and were rescued by a helicopter while a woman was found on shore, but the three other children were lost in the floodwaters and could not be recovered, police said.

"GCSO [Gila County Sheriff's Office] says they located the body of a second child, a 5-year-old girl".

More than 100 volunteers gathered near Tonto Basin, a small community northeast of Phoenix, early Sunday to help search for the missing girl, Willa Rawlings, The Arizona Republic reported. First responders plan to continue searching until they find the last child, who is also said to be a child of the parents from the vehicle.

Dodd said the 5-year-old boy's body was found about 3 miles downstream of the crossing which had been closed hours before the truck tried to cross Friday despite barricades and warning signs. The children found dead were the son and niece of the adults. Sheriff's deputies patrolled the area, and rescue vehicles made their way down a dirt path to the search area.

Lt. Virgil Dodd of the Gila County Sheriff's Office said it is still unclear how the children got stuck into the creek and if they were wearing seat belts when the incident occurred. Dodd, of the Sheriff's Office, on Sunday confirmed that the number of people rescued on Friday night was six after conflicting reports on Saturday.

Adverse conditions included heavy brush and slippery mud along the creek and frigid water from snowmelt, but officials said they remained hopeful.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix had warned Friday of flooding in Gila County, urging people to stay alert "even in locations not receiving rain".