Weather Is Impacting the Search to Find 2 Children Lost in Bucks County Flood

Yardley Makefield Marine Rescue leaving the Yardley Boat Ramp along N. River Road heading down the Delaware River on Monday morning July 17, 2023, in Yardley, Pa. Search and rescue units are looking for two lost children caught in flood waters Saturday. (Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

By Patrick Berkery

July 19, 2023

Officials said weather and river conditions were not conducive for planned search operations in the effort to find Matilda Sheils, 2, and her 9-month-old brother Conrad Sheils.

Search efforts to find two young siblings who were swept away from their car during flash flooding in Bucks County Saturday were hampered by rain Wednesday morning.

In a Facebook post, the Upper Makefield Township Police Department said weather and river conditions were not conducive for planned search operations in the effort to find Matilda Sheils, 2, and her 9-month-old brother Conrad Sheils.

Wednesday marked the fifth day of search operations. Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said Tuesday that search efforts will now be focused on the water, using dive teams.

Officials acknowledged the many that have asked to volunteer to help but said they are not needed. Brewer asked people to avoid the area.

Some 100 officials, as well as drones and cadaver dogs, have combed the area near the creek that drains into the Delaware River. The search has covered about 117 acres, with those on land logging some 160 miles, often going back and forth over the same ground, Brewer said.

The children are members of a Charleston, South Carolina, family that was visiting relatives and friends when they got hit by a “wall of water” Saturday, Brewer said.

The children’s father, Jim Sheils, grabbed their 4-year-old son, while the children’s mother, Katie Seley, and a grandmother grabbed the other children, Brewer said. Sheils and his son made it to safety, but Seley and the grandmother were swept away. The grandmother survived, but Seley was among the five people who drowned, according to the Bucks County Coroner’s office.

The others who died were Enzo Depiero, 78, and Linda Depiero, 74, of Newtown; Yuko Love, 64, of Newtown; and Susan Barnhart, 53, of Titusville, New Jersey, Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up on behalf of the Shelis family and the Barnhart family.

A prayer vigil for the victims will be held at the Crossing in Washington Crossing Thursday at 7 p.m.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Author

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

Politics

Local News

Related Stories
Share This