Authorities searching for 4-year-old child swept away in flood

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: First responders park along U.S. Highway 70 just west of the Cottonwood Wash Bridge. Responders spent the evening searching the Cottonwood Wash area for a 4-year-old girl who went missing during a flash flood late Thursday night.

By Jon Johnson

PIMA – Various first responders were scouring the Cottonwood Wash area north and south of the Cottonwood Wash Bridge on Thursday night and Friday morning, looking for a missing 4-year-old girl who has reportedly been swept away in a flash flood. 

According to a press release from the Pima Police Department, officers were dispatched at about 9:22 p.m. regarding a vehicle in Cottonwood Wash. The caller advised she and her children were stuck in the wash on top of their blue suburban and the vehicle was moving down the wash.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Authorities and volunteers were combing the Cottonwood Wash on Friday morning, searching for a missing 4-year-old girl swept away in the floodwaters.

Law enforcement helped some of the family to safety, however, a 4-year-old girl is still missing.

The area saw significant precipitation, prompting a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service, which had previously issued a Flash Flood Watch for the area. By the time the warning had come out, however, the child was already missing. 

Contributed Photo: A Facebook group titled “Search for 4yr Mayci” has been made to assist coordinate the search.

The Pima Police department is joined in the search for the child by the Pima Fire Department, Safford Police Department Thatcher Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Graham County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue, volunteers, LifeNet and Air-Evac helicopters, and more. The search was suspended early Friday morning due to weather and lighting conditions but has since resumed. The search stretches up and down Cottonwood Wash from the bridge south and to the north down to the Gila River. The search then continues down the Gila River.

For those who wish to assist in the search, a public center will be set up at the Pima Town Hall for searchers to check-in. CMI is reportedly printing a map to mark areas covered. A Facebook group to help disseminate information to searchers called “Search for 4yr Mayci” has been set up here.  

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Water, oranges, and more refreshment was made available to searchers. VIP Farms also donated a rinsing station for people to wash the mud off themselves.