Search for 6-year-old girl who fell into Delaware County creek now considered recovery, not rescue

Sunday, March 24, 2024
Search for girl who fell into creek now considered recovery
Search for girl who fell into creek now considered recovery

CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- The search for a 6-year-old girl who was swept away in a rain-swollen southeastern Pennsylvania creek has become a recovery mission rather than a rescue mission, authorities said Sunday.

Emergency crews were called just after 7 p.m. Saturday for reports that a young girl was swept into Chester Creek off of 8th Street.

Authorities in Delaware County were searching the creek for the child, who was identified as 6-year-old Lin'ajah Brooker.

Boats with thermal imaging were scanning the water on Saturday night while crews searched through nearby trees and debris.

"There's a lot of debris in the water which poses a potential hazard to our responders, but they've been trained to deal with those situations," said Chester Fire Commissioner John-Paul Shirley. "We have light towers set up, we're also flying some drones that have infrared and thermal imaging technology."

As of Sunday afternoon, authorities say this is no longer a search and rescue effort, but a recovery effort.

Boats and drones were also used Sunday in both directions on the creek and on both sides of the Delaware River where the creek flows into it.

The fire commissioner told Action News that Brooker went missing while she was playing with two others.

Authorities say three girls were playing near the creek when two fell in. One managed to get out of the water while 6-year-old Brooker was swept away, according to investigators.

"She went down a little too far with the other kids, and my 7-year-old daughter tried to hold her, and she was holding onto my daughter's coat and I guess the wind took her," said Tyeesha Reynolds, Brooker's aunt.

After the girl went under, Reynolds said it was all hands on deck from the family.

"My nephew, he's 19, he jumped in the water. My 12-year-old nephew jumped into the water," she said. "We all were trying to hope for the best, we're still hoping for the best."

This comes as heavy rain soaked the Philadelphia region on Saturday.

Parts of Delaware and Montgomery counties saw flooding as a result of the downpour. Some areas even temporarily closed off roadways due to flooding.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the police immediately.