PAYSON, Ariz. – Nine bodies were recovered over the weekend, all part of the same family, after a flash flood swept through a popular swimming hole north of Payson.
The family was celebrating a birthday at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole on Saturday afternoon, when meteorologists issued a Flash Flood Warning.
A 4-foot wall of water and debris tore through the canyon, washing some of the victims several miles downstream.
The victims who were found dead on Saturday and Sunday were identified by Gila County Sheriff’s Office on Monday as: Jonathan Leon, 13; Mia Garnica, 5; Emily Garnica, 3; Daniel Garnica, 7; Javier Raya-Garcia, 19; Selia Garcia Castaneda, 57; Erica Raya-Garcia, 2; Maribel Raya-Garcia, 24; and Maria Raya-Garcia, 27.
A family member told ABC15 that Hector Garnica, 27, is still missing. Crews are still searching the area.