Vigil for child swept away in flooded creek

Phillip Campbell was 5-years-old
Posted at 11:17 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 02:35:08-05

People across Fallbrook came together to remember a 5-year-old boy who drowned in a flooded creek during Sunday's heavy storms.

Phillip Campbell and a family friend, 73-year-old Roland Phillips, were swept up in rushing water off the 4800 block of Fifth Street in Rainbow in northern San Diego County.

Search crews found the body of Phillips Sunday night. They weren't able to recover it until Monday morning.

After a 5 day search, the child's body was found Thursday morning buried in debris about a mile from where their car was carried into Rainbow Creek.

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Family, friends, and strangers gathered at Calvary Chapel Thursday night to pay their respects to the family.

Phillip lived with his grandmother. Lynda Campbell said she felt a sense of peace when she learned his body had been found.

"Relief cause we have a body to bury, but it's sad," said Campbell who broke down in tears. 

Phillip is remembered as a happy child. He loved to eat pizza and was often seen singing on his bus to preschool.

"The five years he was there all he gave was love," said Campbell.

Phillip's father, Timothy Campbell, said he'll miss riding bikes and fishing with his son.

"He says "Hi" to everybody that comes up, cause he's such a nice boy," said Campbell.

The family says Phillips treated the little boy like a grandson. They were headed to Riverside County Sunday afternoon to look at a car for sale.

Campbell thanked the crews for their exhaustive search during dangerous conditions.

"I'm just amazed at all the people that came out and searched for him and how people get together like that," said Timothy Campbell.

The family is collecting donations for Phillip's funeral. If you'd like to contribute, an account has been set up on GoFundMe.