Search expanded for body of man swept away by flood at Arizona swimming hole

Garnica?s family thanks the public for their help to cover the burial cost for the nine family members who lost their lives in the flash flood near Payson.

PAYSON, Ariz. - The Arizona Department of Forestry has expanded the search area a couple miles past Beaver Valley to search for Hector Miguel Garnica. 

On Wednesday, search and rescue teams had to stop at noon because of the storm moving through the area. 

"Our hope is to find Hector's body today," said Pruett Small, the incident commander. "We certainly hope we find Hector for the family."

PREVIOUS: Learn more about victims of flash flood north of Payson

The incident team said the search is now more of a recovery effort than a rescue mission

The search area is divided into three sections: Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. 

Several cadaver dogs picked up a scent in the area the family says he was last swimming before flash flood hit. Officials said they will that area, which lies in the Alpha section, tomorrow. The hole is now filled with 8-10 ft of debris.

MORE: Family and community wonder if flash flood victims were ever warned

Most of the 75 team members will focus on Alpha and Bravo which stretches from the Water Wheel area where Garnica fell to Beaver Valley. 

RELATED: Friends honor 13-year-old killed in devastating flash flood in Payson

Charlie stretches seven miles past Beaver Valley down the East Verde River.

Storms are moving through the area again Wednesday. Pruett said there is a possibility the teams could be called off early. If not, they will go until around 6 p.m.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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