Searchers Find Body of Girl Swept Away by Swollen River

Searchers have found the body of a 5-year-old California girl who fell into a rain-swollen river in the Sierra Nevada foothills over the weekend.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department says Matilda Ortiz was found dead Wednesday afternoon.

The child slipped off rocks and fell into the Stanislaus River Sunday evening at Knights Ferry, a sprawling recreation area.

Her father jumped in but was unable to reach her because of the fast-moving current.

Authorities have warned of dangers at California rivers resulting from the state's exceptionally wet winter.

Members of the community pitched in to help search on Tuesday. 

The girl's mother, Marissa Vasquez, told the Modesto Bee she believed her daughter was gone but wanted her body found and returned to her family.

"This tragic event has touched so many people, including the first responders that searched and continue to search for her," the sheriff's department said in a post to Facebook. "Please continue to pray for the family, that we can bring some closure. Our hearts break for them and little Matilda."

Knights Ferry is located approximately 40 miles east of Stockton, California along State Route 120.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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