SMITHFIELD – Search crews found the body of a missing 5 year-old girl Wednesday afternoon in a creek near the Neuse River. Around 4:30pm, searchers found the body of Alexa Castro. They are continuing to search for her brother, 4 year-old Abraham Martinez Jr., who is still missing.
Sheriff Steve Bizzell told Johnston County Report, “One of our sheriff’s office boat teams were in the water patroling the creek and they saw what appeared to be a yellow rescue helmet. Just beyond that they located the body. She was in a tributary of the main run of the creek. The body did not get into the (Neuse) River.”
The Sheriff said rescuers will continue searching Wednesday evening for Abraham. They will return Thursday at 7:00am.
Monday night, their mother was driving on Galilee Road south of Smithfield when her car was swept off the rural roadway by flash flooding. The mother was located after she made a 911 call.
Rescuers were able to pull the mother and Abraham into a boat but within seconds it capsized. The mother was saved but the young boy disappeared.
Their car was found Tuesday morning where it had been swept off Galilee Road but there was no one in the vehicle.
Sheriff’s Captain Bengie Gaddis said searchers from Wayne and Cumberland counties are assisting Johnston County authorities with the search efforts. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office provided a helicopter, boat team and dive team today. Cumberland County provided search K-9s.
Sheriff Bizzell said the Nash and Harnett County Sheriff’s Departments has offered to assist in any way possible.
He said there has been an outpouring of community support. People have been offering assistance throughout the day. A local restaurant provided lunch for the rescue teams and a Clayton community group provided snacks and Gatorade this afternoon. Other donations of food, water and drinks have been dropped off by citizens all day long at their Fleet Services Building off N. Brightleaf Boulevard..
Volunteers have offered to use personal boats to help with the search efforts but officials asked they not do so because of the rapid currents in the rain-swollen Neuse River.
This story has been updated.