Officials identify 9 who died in Arizona flash flood

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. (AP) – Authorities have released the identities of the five children and four adults who died after being swept away during a flash flood at a swimming hole in central Arizona.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office also provided the names of four people who were rescued from the floodwaters Saturday at the Tonto National Forest.

Those who died were Jonathan Leon, 13; Mia Garnica, 5; Emily Garnica, 3; Danial Garnica, 7; Javier Raya-Garcia, 19; Selia Garcia Castaneda, 57; Erica Raya-Garcia, 2; Maribel Raya-Garcia, 24; and Maria Raya-Garcia, 27.

Authorities say the victims were members of an extended family.

Those who were rescued were Julio Garcia, 29; Esthela Atondo, 28; Acis Garcia, 8; and Marina Garcia, 1.

Crews are searching for a 27-year-old man who remains missing.

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8:42 a.m.

Authorities say the person who is still missing from a flash flood in central Arizona that killed nine other people wasn’t a 13-year-old boy but rather a 27-year-old man.

Detective David Hornung of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office says Monday that the boy’s body was found by searchers Sunday.

Hornung says the error in characterizing who was still missing was discovered late Sunday or early Monday and was attributed to miscommunications due to the large number of victims.

About 40 volunteer search-and-rescue workers and four search dogs resumed the search early Monday.

A torrent of water came Saturday as people were cooling off in a creek that suddenly turned treacherous when a rainstorm upstream unleashed floodwaters in the Tonto National Forest.

Authorities haven’t identified those who died in the floodwaters.
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7:38 a.m.

Crews were headed out to the scene of a flash flood in central Arizona to resume the search for a 13-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters that also took the lives of nine other people.

Water Wheel Fire and Medical District Fire Chief Ron Sattelmaier says he saw searchers headed toward the scene early Monday.

Searchers will walk the area and seek any sign of the boy.

The torrent of water came Saturday as people were cooling off in a creek that suddenly turned treacherous when a rainstorm upstream unleashed floodwaters in the Tonto National Forest.

Search and rescue crews recovered the bodies of five children and four adults, some as far as 2 miles down the river.

Authorities did not identify them.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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