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

Updated at 6:49 p.m. Jan. 25, 2017:

A fourth day of ground and airborne searching Wednesday turned up no sign of a preschooler believed to have been swept away by a storm- swollen creek in the far northern reaches of San Diego County last weekend.

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 body of Roland Phillips, 73, near an overturned and sunken car on the edge of Rainbow Creek.

Friends of the dead man told news crews he had been a close family friend of the missing child, 5-year-old Phillip Campbell of Fallbrook, and had been with the youngster on an outing at the time they both disappeared.

Deputies have since been searching the length of the creek by ground and aboard a patrol helicopter, finding no sign of the boy as of late this morning, Lt. Eddy Brock said.

The operation was expected to be “slowing down” after dark this evening, sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Keim said. Keim said he did not know if the effort would be entirely suspended for the night or would continue in a scaled- back manner.
—City News Service