A shoe, considered to belong to a missing 6-year-old girl who was the subject of a large search, was obtained Sunday about 200 yards from where her family’s oversized military-style truck got held in a raging creek in Arizona, a published report said.
Nine family members, collectively for the Thanksgiving holiday, were caught up in a cascade of water made by an extreme runoff from a powerful storm Friday, The Associated Press reported. Four children and two grown-ups were rescued by helicopter, but three children waited in the truck, which was later swept away.
The girl, identified as Willa Rawlings, has been missing since the episode occurred. Her 5-year-old brother and cousin were both found lifeless on Saturday.
“There was a shoe in the area where there was some interest in that debris. At this time, we believe that it may belong to the little girl that we’re searching for,” he added.
More than 100 missionaries gathered near Tonto Basin, a small community northeast of Phoenix, early Sunday to assist the search for the disappeared girl, Willa Rawlings, the Republic reported.
Volunteers, working in little groups searched over the muddy brush, heading toward the creek looking for the girl, who was carrying jeans and a purple jacket, the Republic reported.
Willa’s parents, Daniel and Lacey Rawlings, both jumped from the truck. However, their son, Colby Rawlings, and niece, Austin Rawlings, were not in the wheels when it was drawn from the creek the next day. Their bodies were discovered about 600 to 1,000 yards from the failed intersection, the report said.
The creek crossing was recorded as closed with barricades and signs, officials said.
A National Weather Service meteorologist told the agency published a flood warning for the region – including the Tonto Basin area – at 8:53 a.m. Friday when an estimated almost to 2 inches of rain fell in the region, with some of the runoff originating from the snow that fell on nearby hills, the AP reported.
The region got up to 4 inches of rain about a week before the event.