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Man found dead in Tonto Creek 8 days after family of 9 swept away

(Photo by Gila County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — A man has been found dead after trying to cross Tonto Creek just 20 miles north of Bar X where three children went missing and two were found dead after their family attempted to cross the creek in a truck.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office said that the man was attempting to cross the creek in a four-door sedan.

A resident called for help after spotting the vehicle in the creek around 12:30 p.m. Officials found his body nearly 200 yards downstream.

On Nov. 29, Daniel and Lacey Rawlings attempted to cross Tonto Creek with seven children in a military-style truck that was swept away by the flood waters.

Two children, 5-year-olds Austin and Daniel Rawlings were found dead, and searches continue for missing 6-year-0ld Willa Rawlings, who were all swept away in the water.

The identity of the man swept away on Saturday was not revealed by the Sheriff’s Office.

Residents in nearby Gisela, Ariz. have been asking for a bridge over the Tonto Creek. Gov. Doug Ducey said he would consider including the piece of infrastructure in next year’s state budget.

Officials said that the area where the man attempted to cross the creek had two permanent signs that warn against crossing the creek when it is flooded.

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