Search goes on for miss­ing girl in Ariz.

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Molly Duerig and Robert An­glen

TONTO BASIN, Ariz. – More than a hun­dred com­mu­nity mem­bers from Pine­top, Ari­zona, gath­ered in Tonto Basin on Sun­day morn­ing to search for a miss­ing 6-year-old girl swept away in a flash flood.

Willa Rawl­ings was one of three chil­dren left in­side a truck that was in­un­dated by surg­ing wa­ter af­ter rel­a­tives at­tempted to drive through a cross­ing at Tonto Creek. Tonto Basin is about 90 miles north­east of down­town Phoenix.

Two 5-year-olds, Colby and Austin Rawl­ings, were found dead Satur­day.

Lacey and Daniel Rawl­ings were in the truck with the chil­dren when friends and rel­a­tives say they tried to cross the creek at a cross­ing that was closed ear­lier that day be­cause of flood­ing caused by a ma­jor win­ter storm.

Lacey and Daniel Rawl­ings are the par­ents of Willa and Colby.

Austin, their niece, is the daugh­ter of Daniel’s brother, Jay Rawl­ings.

Nathan Sher­wood, Lacey’s brother, flew in from Hous­ton on Fri­day to help with the search ef­forts. He cried as he spoke to the crowd of vol­un­teers be­fore search ef­forts be­gan Sun­day.

“I can­not thank you enough,” he said. “This is about the only light in this dark sit­u­a­tion.”

Au­thor­i­ties also con­tin­ued to search Sun­day for the 6-year-old girl, the only one of nine fam­ily mem­bers un­ac­counted for on Sun­day. The search in­cluded mul­ti­ple po­lice agen­cies with air­craft, kayak­ers, ATVs and res­cue dogs work­ing along the creek.

On Fri­day af­ter­noon, six mem­bers of the Rawl­ings fam­ily were res­cued when the ve­hi­cle was over­come by wa­ter in the creek, ac­cord­ing to the Gila County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice.

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