Searchers spend third day looking for 6-year-old girl
Posted March 26, 2009 5:25 a.m. EDT
Updated March 26, 2009 4:45 p.m. EDT
Spring Lake, N.C. — Rain early Thursday hindered the search for a missing 6-year-old girl who authorities say fell into the Little River on Tuesday afternoon.
Wet weather kept divers and boats off the river, but crews were back out when skies cleared to search for Ca'zhia McMillian.
Officials said they were concerned about the threat of thunderstorms later Thursday afternoon and about rising water levels and the fast current due to the rain.
Family members said the child is not a strong swimmer.
About 100 people were involved Wednesday in an air, land and water search of a 5-mile stretch near the area where McMillian fell into the river. Tracking dogs helped search the riverbanks, and crews used sonar to scan under the water.
A team of 17 divers also searched the area Thursday, and officials said they still consider their mission a search-and-rescue case.
McMillian, a first-grader at Anderson Creek Primary School, was reported missing Tuesday afternoon near 229 Woodwind Drive in Spring Lake.
She and a friend were playing on the riverbank when she fell in, her aunt said Wednesday.
"It has been over 48 hours, and my baby is still not here," her mother, Sharonda McNeill said Thursday.
McNeil said she questions the direction the search has taken, so far, and believes crews need to go beyond the area they've been searching.
"We've gone to the extreme, according to our experts, of the widest possible," said Maj. Gary McNeill, a spokesman for the Harnett County Sheriff's Office.