Firefighter's niece swept away by monsoon floodwaters found dead near river

A firefighter’s teenage niece was found dead near a river four days after she was swept away in monsoon floodwaters that hit Arizona. The body of Faith Moore, 16, was recovered near the Verde River on Wednesday afternoon after she vanished during a monsoon about 100 miles north of Phoenix.

Moore called for help when her vehicle got stuck in about two feet of water, according to KSAZ. Within an hour, however, the water rose to eight feet.

Rescuers found Moore and tried to get her out, but floodwaters pushed her out of her vehicle and downstream, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said.

‘So when you think of water to your knees, it can be deceiving but that’s a lot of pressure and a lot of energy behind them,’ Verde Valley Fire Chief David Johnson said.

On Saturday, authorities deployed search teams but air support was not dispatched quickly due to ‘numerous active rescues going on simultaneously’.

More than 100 National Guard members, emergency personnel and volunteers and police K-9s looked for Moore. Thermal drones and GPS trackers were also deployed.

Moore was the niece of a Cottonwood firefighter as well as the granddaughter of a recently retired Verde Valley Fire District fire chief and a retired Verde Valley Ambulance EMS chief, according to Arizona Family.   

A prayer vigil was held on Monday for Moore at the Mingus Union High School softball field, where she played with the Rampage softball team.

Moore’s club softball coaches Paige Church and Danya Weir said she was a mentor to younger players on the team.

‘It’s anger, it’s sadness, it’s what could we have done, could we have done anything differently,’ Church told KSAZ, ‘The range of emotions is huge.’

A GoFundMe account for Moore had raised more than $26,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

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