Body of Young Girl Found in River After Siblings Swept Away by Pennsylvania Flooding

The body of a young girl was discovered in the Delaware River, and authorities say they believe it to be Matilda “Mattie” Sheils, a 2-year-old who was washed away by floodwaters in Pennsylvania earlier this month together with her infant brother.

According to authorities, a child’s body had been found in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond area and was “possibly connected to the flash flood in Bucks County.”

About 30 miles south of where Mattie Sheils was initially washed away, the small child’s body was discovered.

“We strongly believe it’s Mattie Sheils,” Upper Makefield fire chief Tim Brewer said at a press conference on Friday, based on a description of the youngster and the clothing she was wearing.

The girl’s mother, Katie Seley, was one of five individuals who were confirmed deceased after crushing floodwaters swept away cars and people in Upper Makefield on July 15. The family was traveling on a family outing when a creek’s banks grew and blocked the roadways.

“This has been an emotional time for the community,” Brewer added. “All our hearts are broken this evening.”

On Saturday, the Philadelphia coroner will perform an autopsy as search efforts for Mattie’s 9-month-old brother Conrad are ongoing.

The tweet below confirms the news:

Conrad Sheils, Mattie’s Brother, is Still Being Sought After by Crews

According to Brewer, local rescue units have been keeping an eye on the river since the floods that claimed the lives of six people, and agencies south of Upper Makefield were informed of the situation. Overnight, Philadelphia marine teams maintained their search for Conrad in the river.

According to Brewer, the search was set to continue on Saturday with the addition of more K9 teams and other resources, including as marine, air, and diving units.

“We will be in the water tomorrow,” he added. “We will work tirelessly to make sure that Conrad is found.”

Here are some links to more articles from the California Examiner that you may find interesting:

How Many Were Submerged?

Twelve of the 19 people who were caught in the ferocious currents on Washington Crossing Road managed to live.

The Bucks County Coroner’s office reports that in addition to the mother of the children, four other persons drowned nearby: Susan Barnhart, 53, of Titusville, New Jersey; Enzo Depiero, 78; and Linda Depiero, 74; both of Newtown; Yuko Love, 64; and both of Newtown.

The girl’s remains would have traveled more than 30 miles downstream from the spot where 2-year-old Mattie Sheils was carried away in the middle of July, according to police.

Gerry Dworkin, an aquatics safety and water rescue technical consultant with Lifesaving Resources, a Kennebunkport, Maine company that trains and supports lifeguard, public safety, and rescue personnel, says that a young child’s body traveling that far down river is unusual “but certainly possible.”

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