Weather suspends search for missing 4-year-old Pima flood victim

Photo Courtesy Cochise County SAR: Members of the Cochise County SAR prepare to put kayaks in the water. The search for 4-year-old flood victim Maci Reed was suspended Saturday due to inclement weather.

By Jon Johnson

PIMA – Day 2 of the search for missing 4-year-old Maci Reed who was swept away by floodwaters late Thursday night was suspended early after precipitation created dangerous search zones.

In addition to a large volunteer force and our local Graham County Search & Rescue, the search for Maci included assistance from other counties, including Cochise County SAR, Greenlee County SAR, and Arizona Department of Safety Ranger. While the search may have turned from rescue to recovery, numerous community members diligently continue the effort. 

Maci was with her family Thursday night when their suburban was overtaken by floodwaters from Cottonwood Wash. Authorities were dispatched to the area of the wash at 9:22 p.m. and rescued both parents and three siblings from the top of the vehicle. Maci, however, was swept away. 

A search for Maci was immediately undertaken but was suspended just before midnight. The search then continued Friday morning, with a large contingent of volunteers joining with their own personal vehicle, watercraft, and horses. 

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

Planes and helicopters have been utilized, as well as various boats and kayaks as teams search the Gila River, which drains Cottonwood Wash. Various government agencies have also joined in on the search, which has stretched from Pima to Bylas. 

On Saturday, searchers dealt with extremely muddy conditions as the area received more significant rainfall overnight. Rain then came and went throughout the day, eventually causing the washes and Gila River to swell and endanger those who were searching. 

Officials then suspended the search just after 4 p.m. and requested volunteers come in for the night as well. The search is expected to resume Sunday morning at 6 a.m. 

Those interested in assisting should sign in at the volunteer effort at Pima Town Hall. For immediate updates visit the Facebook group Search for 4yr Maci.

Those searching have also been supported by businesses and community members who have generously donated food, water, and supplies.