Body of child pulled from river believed to be girl who disappeared during Pennsylvania flash flooding

Officials said upwards of 7 inches of rain fell in about 45 minutes near Washington Crossing and the surrounding area of Bucks County, which resulted in rapid flooding and extensive damage.

PHILADELPHIA - Officials in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said Friday evening that they believe the body of a young girl that was found in the Delaware River is believed to be one of two siblings who were swept away by floodwaters last weekend. 

Upper Makefield Township Police held a press conference Friday night, just hours after Philadelphia police recovered the body of a young girl from the river near Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood.

Officials said taht based on clothing and the physical description of the child, they strongly believe the child to be 2-year-old Mattie Sheils. 


Crews have been searching for Mattie and her 9-month-old brother Conrad for nearly a week after they disappeared during a flash flood in Washington Crossing last Saturday.

Official identification is pending, and an autopsy is expected to be performed on Saturday.

Teams are continuing to search for Conrad up and down the Delaware River and will continue to search Saturday.

The flooding claimed the lives of five people, including Mattie and Conrad’s mother, 32-year-old Katie Seley. 

Mattie's family was visiting from Charleston, South Carolina, for a family barbecue when their car became one of several that was swept away. Three members of the family were able to escape the floodwaters or were later rescued.


The four other victims were identified Monday as Enzo DePiero, 78, Linda DePiero, 74, Yuko Love, 64, and Susan Barnhart, 53.

Officials said the victims did not drive into a flooded roadway or high waters, but that the water unexpectedly overtook the roadway. 

"We would like to affirm to everybody: These people did not drive into high water. They were caught," Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said Monday. "The wall of water came to them. They did not go to the water."

Both the DePieros and Love were local to Newtown, Pennsylvania. Barnhart was a resident of Titusville, New Jersey, which is located just across the river from Washington Crossing.

According to their son, the DePieros were on their way home from their favorite restaurant in Titusville.

Family members of Yuko Love told FOX 29 Philadelphia she was in the car with her husband at the time of the flooding. He was hospitalized but is expected to recover.

Upper Makefield Township Police identified Barnhart as an employee of the Washington Crossing Post Office.