Two of the three missing children in Arizona were found dead on Saturday after their vehicle got stuck in a flooded creek the day before.
According to a statement from Gila County Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd, authorities received a call on Friday at 4:11 p.m. of a vehicle stuck in Tonto Creek near the Tonto Basin.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety deployed helicopters and found one adult and four children stranded on an island while another adult was rescued from the shore.
The following day, two children were found dead at 8:45 a.m. and 11:14 a.m, respectively. Both of their families were notified, Shepherd said.
Rescuers are still searching for the third child, a 6-year-old girl.
According to Arizona Central, both children found dead, one boy and one girl, were 5 years old. The boy was the son of the adults, while the girl was the niece.
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.
“Hopefully, we will find her soon and bring her back to safety,” Dodd said of the missing child.
The rescue mission has included aircraft, kayakers, ATVs and rescue dogs, according to Arizona Central. Sheriff’s deputies patrolled the area, and rescue vehicles made their way down a dirt path to the search area.
However, the search has proven difficult for rescuers. “It’s very hard with all the brush and everything we’ve got to go through, the strong waters going downstream,” said Dodd.