Published: Tue, December 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

2 children dead, 1 missing after auto swept away by flooding

2 children dead, 1 missing after auto swept away by flooding

The sheriff's office first reported the children, who were between the ages of 5 and 10, missing after crews found a "military-type" vehicle submerged in water on Friday.

© Patrick Breen/The Republic A truck passes through part of Tonto Creek in Tonto Basin, Arizona on December 1, 2019.

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

Two children were found reportedly dead and were missing in Arizona on November 30 after their vehicle got stuck while crossing a storm-swollen forest on the outskirts of Phoenix, according to the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

"We hope we find the last one and bring her to safety", Dodd said.

Dodd said the family had been trying to cross the creek, despite barricades and warning signs being posted, in what he described as a "horrible and tragic incident".

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A GCSO spokesperson said during an afternoon press conference that one of the children found dead was a child of the parents in the vehicle, and that the other child was a niece.

The Rawlings family members are from various areas of Arizona and were in the area visiting relatives for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Lt. Virgil Dodd of the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

Two adults and four children were rescued. "We'd like to remind the public ... when they see these signs, it's very unsafe to attempt to cross". "At this time, we believe that it may belong to the little girl that we're searching for".

"Searchers found the truck about 1,000 yards downstream from the crossing Friday night", Dodd said.

A National Weather Service meteorologist said the agency issued a flood warning for the region that includes the Tonto Basin area at 8:53 a.m. Friday based on data from an upstream flooding gauge.

Smith said the creek only flows during storm runoff. "Therefore, the grounds were already quite humid and that probably helped with the runoff".

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