Search efforts continue for missing teen
Search efforts continued Sunday afternoon for a missing teen-age girl lost in a flash flood Saturday.
The Verde Valley Fire District has identified the missing girl as 16-year-old Faith Moore.
“Faith and her family have strong ties to the community,” Fire Chief Danny Johnson stated on a post to the VVFD Facebook page. “She is the granddaughter of the recently retired fire chief from the Verde Valley Fire District and the retired EMS chief from Verde Valley Ambulance, also the niece of an active Cottonwood firefighter.”
Johnson said the search for Moore is continuing with K9 units and with search watercrafts.
“An incoming storm has hit the Verde Valley making the search more difficult, but fire and law enforcement will carry on their work keeping the safety of first responders foremost,” Johnson said. “Volunteers are being moved out of the area to avoid injury in the event of another flashflood.”
The girl originally called 911 at approximately 9:30 p.m. asking for help because her car was stranded in knee high water, according to a news release from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
Initial crews were able to make visual contact with the victim, but during the rescue attempt she was swept out of her car and downstream. Though the water was only to her knees at the time she called for help, the water quickly rose to over 8 feet within an hour, YCSO advised.
Verde Valley public safety partners reminds the public to please be aware of running water in road crossings and to remain vigilant near the Verde River in light of the stormy weather.
Saturday night, Verde Valley Fire was simultaneously working five other water rescues at the time of the call from the girl, including a K9 officer unit from Cottonwood who was also washed downstream in a different wash a short distance from the 16-year-old girl.
Ground searches were conducted throughout the night and Sunday morning.
There are drones from Sedona Fire, Verde Fire, DPS, and YCSO currently in the air as well as YCSO swift water rescue teams. YCSO K9 units are on route and a private search and rescue K9 is on scene assisting with the search.
An airboat from Maricopa County Sherriff’s office is being deployed at Alcantara. This search is being coordinated with Prescott National Forest, and a helicopter from Guardian Air is involved in the search.
Personal items belonging to the girl have been found.
YCSO wants to stress again to the public how dangerous running water can be, even when it looks shallow. A simple decision to cross a road with running water can easily and quickly turn tragic.