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Body of Arizona teen found near river four days after she was swept away by flood waters

The body of a teen girl has been found near an Arizona river using drones with thermal technology four days after she was swept away by flood waters.

Faith Moore, 16, was found near the Verde River around 4pm on Wednesday after she was swept away by dangerous flooding during a monsoon in rural Arizona about 100 miles north of Phoenix on Saturday.

Verde Valley and Cottonwood firefighters were called when Faith’s car was stranded in about two-feet deep water at 9pm on Saturday, KSAZ-TV reported.

Faith was swept downstream while firefighters tried to rescue her from the flooding, Verde Valley fire officials said. 

Faith Moore, 16, was found near the Verde River around 4pm on Wednesday

Rescue crews had previously found her car in a wash after she was swept away by flooding

Rescue crews had previously found her car in a wash after she was swept away by flooding

More than a 100 people had joined in to search for the teen over the past four days

More than a 100 people had joined in to search for the teen over the past four days

Officials immediately sent out search teams who worked around the clock since Saturday

Officials immediately sent out search teams who worked around the clock since Saturday

‘The two feet of water was enough to initially push the car from where the initial car came from,’ Verde Valley Fire Chief David Johnson 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.’

Officials immediately sent out search teams who worked around the clock since Saturday to try to rescue her. However, air support was not immediately available because there were ‘numerous active rescues going on simultaneously’.

According to KSAZ-TV, more than a hundred people – including emergency workers and volunteers – searched for Faith. Even the National Guard joined search efforts.

Search teams used K-9 units, GPS trackers and thermal drone technology with the hope of finding the teen alive. 

Officials immediately sent out search teams who worked around the clock since Saturday

Officials immediately sent out search teams who worked around the clock since Saturday

The four thermal drones flew over five million square feet of area

The four thermal drones flew over five million square feet of area

The drones were piloted from the ground by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and the Embry Riddle Aeronautical School - as well as Yavapai College

The drones were piloted from the ground by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and the Embry Riddle Aeronautical School – as well as Yavapai College

The four thermal drones flew over five million square feet of area, piloted from the ground by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and the Embry Riddle Aeronautical School –  as well as Yavapai College, the outlet reported.

‘Because the drones use thermal technology, they fly at night when the ground temperature is cooler, which helps to prevent the warm ground from interfering with possible areas of interest,’ read a portion of the statement.

Faith is the niece of an active Cottonwood firefighter – and the granddaughter of a recently retired fire chief from the Verde Valley Fire District and a retired EMS chief from Verde Valley Ambulance, Arizona Family reported.

A mobile command center is pictured as rescue crews worked to look for the teen

A mobile command center is pictured as rescue crews worked to look for the teen

Members of the community are seen after Faith was swept away by flooding

Members of the community are seen after Faith was swept away by flooding

Rescuers are pictured searching through a muddy wash for the missing teen

Rescuers are pictured searching through a muddy wash for the missing teen

Faith's body was found near the Verde River around 4 p.m. on Wednesday

Faith’s body was found near the Verde River around 4 p.m. on Wednesday

During a press conference on Wednesday, officials read a statement from Faith’s family thanking the community for their help searching for their daughter. 

‘Chris and Katie wish to thank all the family, friends, public safety and community that have been with us relentlessly to bring Faith home,’ officials said.

‘The love, prayers and support has been overwhelming and appreciated. Humbly, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Faith is now home.’

Hundreds of people gathered for a prayer vigil on Monday at the at the Mingus Union High School softball field – where she was a member of the Rampage softball program.

Faith’s club softball coaches, Paige Church and Danya Weir, mourned her death and noted that she was a mentor to younger players in comments to KSAZ-TV.

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

Weir added: ‘These young girls, I believe really looked up to her. She was so kind to everybody and our young ones just loved her.’ 

A GoFundMe was started to support the search and rescue efforts. It was not immediately clear if the fundraiser would continue to accept donations.


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