The bodies of two siblings, a 5-year-old girl, and her 4-year-old brother, have been discovered after they were swept away by a flash flood in North Carolina earlier in the week.
Johnston County Sheriff, Steve Bizzell, revealed at a press conference last Thursday how search and rescue crew members located the body of Alexa Castro near the Neuse River on Wednesday afternoon, while her brother Abraham Martinez Jr., was found in a shallow creek about 30 yards away the following morning.
“We were hoping for a better outcome,” Bizzell said. “But at least this morning, we have retrieved them. The family has been notified, and we want to keep the family in our thoughts and our prayers.”
Rescuers located the bodies after some water receded in the area.
“I’m just thankful that they never got into the Neuse River,” he said.
Late Monday night, the siblings and their mother were driving in Smithfield when a flash flood swept their vehicle off the road, according to authorities.
Officials said responders were able to reach the mother and one child, but Abraham Jr. slipped away when the rescue boat they were on capsized.
In the rescue attempt, four boats were damaged according to Bizzell, but “we don’t care about the boats and the equipment — that can be replaced. Our focus immediately went to those children.”
Local authorities with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office searched all day Tuesday and into Wednesday morning to search for the children using K-9s, helicopters and more.
WRAL reported how the mother was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.
“It’s a sad day for for the family, it’s a sad day for law enforcement, it’s a sad day for the first responders, the searchers, the boaters,” Bizzell said. “But at least we got those children, and the family can find a sense of closure. Those kids are in a better place than we are today.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.