A small body spotted near the Tijuana River may be one of two children swept away by storm-swollen waters, lifeguards said.
A 5-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy were among a family of five in a car trying to cross a street that was flooded in Tijuana on Wednesday.
The current flipped the car, killing a pregnant mother and her 10-year-old child. The father, who was driving, survived. The 5-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy remained missing and are believed to be dead.
“Tragic. Three kids in a car, and all three died,” lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said.
A person among a group of illegal immigrants crossing the border near Border Field State Park reported seeing a young girl’s body in the water early Sunday along the Tijuana River Valley, close to Goat canyon, lifeguards said.
The migrant crossed the border successfully. Once in the U.S. they dialed a family member in Mexico and told them about the body. The family contacted Tijuana officials, who then contacted U.S. lifeguards.
Lifeguards, assisted by San Diego Fire Rescue and the Border Patrol, were searching the area, but called off the search around noon.
“The border patrol has been searching for these two missing children for the last three nights, on and off,” Border Patrol Agent John Furtak said. “The water level has changed dramatically from a few nights ago, so that made our search area a lot wider.”
No bodies were found.
“It's a little bit hard. We don't have a precise location where this person was seen,” Everhart said.
Officials say they will keep on searching to give the family peace of mind.
“There is just tons of brush and debris and all sorts of down trees. It's always tragic when you're searching for someone that you know doesn’t have a chance for survival,” Everhart said. “It's incredibly taxing on the family not to know. Not to have closure of what happened to their loved ones.”
The Tijuana fire department is convinced this is the little girl they are looking for. They are also looking for the 2-year-old boy.
Lifeguards think the bodies were swept from the Tijuana side to the U.S. side though large tubes, big enough for a person to walk through.