Authorities resumed the search Monday for the 27-year-old husband of a woman who was swept to her death in an Arizona flash flood — along with their three young kids and five other relatives.
Six children and three adults from Phoenix were killed Saturday when a storm unleashed a deluge that swamped a swimming hole at the Tonto National Forest, officials said.
The revelers at Cold Springs near Payson were suddenly inundated by a 6-foot-high wave that came roaring down from upstream, carrying tree limbs and other debris, The Arizona Republic reported.
Maria Raya — who would have celebrated her 26th birthday on Sunday — and her children, Emily, 3, Mia, 5, and Hector, 7, perished, the paper reported.
Also killed were Maria’s brother, Javier, 14, her sister, Maribel Raya, 24, and Maribel’s daughter, Erika, 2, as well as Selia Garcia, 60, the mother of Maria, Maribel and Javier, and Jonathan Leon, 13, Garcia’s grandson.
The nine bodies were recovered Sunday, officials said, but Maria’s husband, Hector Miguel Garnica, remained missing.
“He has to be found,” said his sister Carla Garnica. “He’s always said, ‘I’m never leaving my children or my wife.’ He has to complete his promise.”