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Rescue team finds child’s clothing, but no child

Nearly 400 now involved in search along Tonto Creek

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY) - Sheriff's deputies say they found pants belonging to a missing 6-year-old girl, but have yet to locate the child.

Little Willa Rawlings and several members of her family were swept away by floodwaters in Tonto Basin on Friday. Search teams recovered the bodies of her five-year-old brother and a five-year-old cousin on Saturday.

The family was trying to cross a swollen creek in a military-style vehicle when rising rainwater swept them away. Gila County Sheriff's deputies say the crossing was closed with barricades and signs warning of flood danger.

Willa's parents, Daniel and Lacey Rawlings haven't discussed their reasons for trying to cross the creek with their four children and three nieces in the truck. They do say they're grateful to rescue teams.

Right now 60 law enforcement search and rescue team members are looking for the Rawling's daughter. 300 civilian volunteers are also scouring the area.

Meanwhile, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says he will try to find money in next year's state budget to help build a bridge over the creek where the tragedy occurred.

Arizona News / State & Regional News

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.


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