An 8-year-old girl was found dead Sunday afternoon after the child and a 4-year-old boy were swept away by rushing waters below Pine Flat Dam, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Spokesman Tony Botti said the Sheriff’s Office received a report just before 2 p.m. of the children missing in the Kings River, just below the dam.
Botti said the boy and girl fell into the Kings River and were swept downstream after their mother and her adult friend entered the water off the shoreline, about a mile downstream from Pine Flat Dam.
He added that the group was trying make their way out to a specific rock to climb on when the current carried the children away.
Neither child was wearing a life jacket.
The Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team and the helicopter found the girl about 2:40 p.m. but called off the search for the boy at 9:15 p.m. because of darkness and the fast-moving water.
The search will resume at 7 a.m. Monday, Sheriff’s Lt. Jake Jensen said.
“The rivers are closed for a reason, and it is to prevent tragedies like what happened today,” Jensen said. “They’re closed to keep everybody safe, and when the river is low enough and safe enough for people to enjoy the river, we’ll re-open it. Until then, please stay out of the water; stay out of the river, it’s extremely dangerous.”
The Kings and San Joaquin Rivers are closed to recreational users since March 14.
Cal Fire is also assisting on the search.
No other details were immediately available.