Search continues for boy believed swept away in swollen creek

Waters subsiding so it's safer for search teams
Posted at 7:46 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 22:46:14-05

RAINBOW - Authorities continued searching Tuesday for a preschooler believed to have been swept into a storm-swollen creek in the far northern reaches of San Diego County area 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.

The child’s uncle, Tony Campbell, identified him to 10News as 5-year-old Phillip Campbell of Fallbrook. They said he was with a close family friend, Roland Phillips, 70, when the car they were in apparently got swept into the overflowing creek.

The uncle is a private investigator and said he’s trying to figure out what happened. 

"It was possible that he got up to the creek and thought he could make it. He was able to stop and get out, open door and disconnect child seat, then the current washed them down the stream."

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

Teams will return to the creek bed Wednesday.