Local News

Body of missing Harnett girl found

Posted April 4, 2009 3:58 p.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2009 11:12 a.m. EDT

— The body of missing 6-year-old Ca'zhia McMillian was found Saturday afternoon in the Lower Little River, according to Maj. Gary McNeill of the Harnett County Sheriff's Office.

Ca'zhia was playing with a friend on March 24 on the banks of the river when she apparently fell into the water. The first-grader at Anderson Creek Primary School hadn't been seen since.

McNeill said a search boat located the body around 1:22 p.m. The child was found about a mile from where she fell in the river. Family members said Ca'zhia did not know how to swim.

"Everything indicates that this accident occurred just as it was reported by the witness," McNeill said in a release.

An autopsy was pending, McNeill said.

Family members remembered Ca’zhia on Saturday as a happy child.

“She loved everybody,” Ca’zhia’s grandmother, Eradene Cherry, said. "She loved everybody. She didn't meet no strangers."

County personnel and the state Highway Patrol had searched the area daily since Ca'zhia's disappearance.

Last weekend, crews suspended their search of the Lower Little River after recent rainfalls made a search by divers unsafe. At the time, Ca'zhia's mother, Sharonda McNeill, said she was frustrated with the suspended search. She declined to speak Saturday.

Some family members said they remained frustrated over the search for the child.

“If she was that close, why did it take so long for them to find her? But I understand they were doing their best,” Cherry said.

Funeral arrangements were pending.