TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. — An Arizona sheriff says a body found by searchers several days after a flash flood has been confirmed as a 27-year-old man who was with nine of his family members who died when the torrent roared through a swimming hole.

Gila County Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd confirmed Friday night that the remains found Wednesday were that of Hector Miguel Garnica, whose wife, three small children and other members of the same extended family died in the flash flood on July 15.

The victims were swept away after a torrent of water from a thunderstorm upstream roared through the Tonto National Forest where they had gathered to celebrate the birthday of Garnica’s wife. Officials say the extended family had no warning about the approaching surge of water.

Author photo
Associated Press
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.