Officials acknowledged volunteers but said they wouldn’t be needed in the search for a missing 2-year-old girl and her 9-month-old brother who were swept away from their car during flash flooding over the weekend. The search entered its fourth day.
In a social media post on Tuesday, Upper Makefield Township police thanked all of the volunteers who had offered their assistance but stated that it wasn’t required. A hundred officials, drones, and cadaver dogs searched the region close to the creek that empties into the Delaware River.
Matilda Sheils, 2, and her brother Conrad Sheils, 9 months old, are missing. They were visiting family and friends when they were struck by a “wall of water” on Saturday, according to Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer. The Sheils family is from Charleston, South Carolina.
According to Brewer, the children’s mother, Katie Seley, and a grandmother grabbed the other kids while the children’s father, Jim Sheils, grabbed their 4-year-old son. Seley and the grandmother were swept away, but Sheils and his son were able to escape. According to the Bucks County Coroner’s office, Seley was one of the five people that drowned, although the grandmother did survive.
According to Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck, the other victims are Enzo Depiero, age 78, and Linda Depiero, age 74, both of Newtown; Yuko Love, age 64; and Susan Barnhart, age 53; all of Titusville, New Jersey.
An outpouring of support has resulted from the fatalities and the search for the kids, especially on social media in the area 35 miles (56 km) north of Philadelphia. On Thursday night, there will be a neighborhood vigil for those affected.