Payson flash flooding deaths: Search for man turns into recovery effort

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 19:51:49-04

Officials say they believe the search for a man who was swept away in a flash flood at a swimming hole near Payson is turning into an effort to recover his body.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management spokeswoman Tiffany Davila says crews had hoped that Hector Garnica would still be alive.

But Davila says crews who have searched for Garnica for three days now believe they are working a recovery effort.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced on Wednesday that their dive team would be joining the search. 

Garnica's wife and three young children were among nine people killed Saturday after a torrent of water from a thunderstorm roared through a swimming hole in the Tonto National Forest.

Crews looked for Garnica's body for four hours Tuesday. But they suspended the search over concerns that thunderstorms would cause more flooding there.