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Body believed to be of missing 2-year-old girl found in Philadelphia river

Upper Makefield Police give updates on 2-year-old's body pulled from Delaware River
Upper Makefield Police give updates on 2-year-old's body pulled from Delaware River 04:10

The body of a 2-year-old girl who was swept away — along with her 9-month-old brother — during flash flooding last weekend which claimed the lives of five others in a Philadelphia suburb is believed to have been found, authorities announced Friday.

Upper Makefield Township Fire Chief Tim Brewer disclosed in a news conference Friday that a body believed to be Mattie Sheils was found in the Delaware River in the city of Philadelphia after being reported by multiple 911 callers a little after 5 p.m. local time, south of the Betsy Ross Bridge.

"The child was located in debris against a pier at the area of a waste management plant," Brewer told reporters.

The girl's body was recovered and taken to the Philadelphia coroner's office for identification, he said.

"Based on the physical description of the child, and the clothing found on the child, we strongly believe that 2-year-old Mattie Sheils has been found pending further identification process," Brewer said.

The girl's body was discovered about 32 miles south of where Mattie and her brother Conrad were swept away on the night of July 15 in Upper Makefield Township in Bucks County. Conrad remains missing and the search for him is continuing, Brewer said.

"All our hearts were broken this evening," Brewer said.

Five other people — including the children's mother — died when a roadway in Upper Makefield Township flooded during a powerful storm. Rescue personnel have been searching for the two missing siblings for days.

The Charleston, South Carolina, family was driving when they got caught in the flooding. The missing children's father, grandmother and 4-year-old brother were also in the car at the time, and survived, officials said.  

President Biden, who was in Philadelphia Thursday for an unrelated event, addressed the deadly flooding.

"I want to say we're praying for those who lost their lives in the flooding in Bucks County. The idea that there's not global warming, I think can't be denied by anybody anymore," he said. "Anyway, we're grateful for the first responders who continue to look for a 2-year-old, Mattie, and her baby brother, Conrad. By the grace of God, maybe something will come of it."

Aliza Chasan contributed to this report. 

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