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Child’s body found at Roosevelt Lake confirmed to be missing 6-year-old

Willa Rawlings (GoFundMe Photo/David Jensen)

PHOENIX—Gila County Sheriff’s officials found a child’s body at Roosevelt Lake on Friday that was confirmed to be six-year-old Willa Rawlings.

The body was found shortly before 2:30 p.m., approximately 20 miles south of where Willa initially went missing.

She had been missing since the family’s military-style vehicle was swept away by flood waters near the Bar X Crossing in the Tonto Basin on Nov. 29.

“My condolences and prayers go to the Rawlings Family, who have lost three young children and I am grateful we were able to find Willa today,” Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd said in a news release.

Searchers and volunteers had spent the last two weeks combing the area by ground and by air for any sign of the girl. Crews used drones, boats and sonar equipment in their search.

Rescuers initially recovered a shoe and a pair of pants belonging to her. But after six days, authorities reclassified their efforts as a recovery mission.

Two children, 5-year-olds Colby and Austin Rawlings, were found dead the next day after being swept away in the water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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