Rescuers at the flooded creek in Rainbow. Courtesy OnScene.TV
Rescuers at the flooded creek in Rainbow. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Updated at 7:04 p.m. Jan. 23, 2017

Authorities searched in vain again Tuesday for a preschooler believed to have been swept into a storm-swollen creek in the far northern reaches of San Diego County along with an adult family friend who since has been found dead.

A 911 caller reported seeing what appeared to be a child being washed away by rushing floodwaters off the 4800 block of Fifth Street in Rainbow about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to sheriff’s officials.

Several hours later, emergency personnel searching the area found the dead man near a submerged car on the edge of the creek.

Due to darkness and inclement weather, crews had to wait until Monday morning to recover the body, believed to be that of a retirement-age man who was recently reported missing along with a young boy.

Relatives of the child identified him to news crews as 5-year-old Phillip Campbell of Fallbrook. They said he was with a close family friend, Roland Phillips, 73, when the car they were in was apparently swept into the overflowing creek.

After suspending the search for the boy Monday evening due to darkness and stormy conditions, sheriff’s personnel resumed the effort this morning, scanning the creek and surrounding areas aboard a patrol helicopter.

The missing youngster remained unaccounted as of sundown this evening, at which point authorities again called off the operation for the night. The search was expected to resume Wednesday morning, Lt. Christine Robbins said.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.