Missing girl's clothing found; river search suspended - KPTV - FOX 12

Missing girl's clothing found; river search suspended

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Photo courtesy Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office Photo courtesy Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Photo courtesy Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office Photo courtesy Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Crews say they've found clothing belonging to a 6-year-old girl who fell into the Clackamas River, but they are suspending the search because of bad weather and high water levels.

Nearly 50 search and rescue volunteers have scoured the area since Vinesa Snegur fell in while playing in the snow with her mother and father on Sunday afternoon.

Today, Clackamas County deputies said the search turned up the missing girl's hood and fleece. Both items were located underwater about a mile apart.

Vinesa's jacket was also found eight miles downstream on the river bank.

Searchers say the Clackamas River is dangerous and just 35 degrees.

"The visibility is about 6 inches, so you can't just look in the water and see things. So, we have to get in the water," says Morgan Guthner, with Clackamas County Search and Rescue.

The search effort will resume when the river levels go down.

On Sunday, the girl and her family had traveled to a spot about seven miles past the Ripplebrook Ranger Station in search of snow. He father said he turned away for a moment, and that's when Vinesa fell from a snowbank into the rushing river.

Because there's no cell phone service in the area, Vinesa's parents had to drive seven miles to the Ripplebrook Camp Store to call for help after she was swept away.

The 911 call reveals that her parents tried to pull her from the river.

Dispatcher: "Is the child still in the river?"
Caller: "Yeah. So, I tried to catch her, but I couldn't."

Dispatch: "Were you able to get her out of the river?"
Caller: "No, no, because the current is too strong."

In Portland, crisis counselors have been made available at Mill Park Elementary School, where the missing first-grader attends school.

"It's very, very hard. I didn't imagine how the parents feeling right now. It's terrible," says parent Edith Flores.

Rolando Florez, the school's principal, says the incident has been a "trying time for us."

"We're really thankful that the district has a (counseling) team here supporting the students, the teachers and me. We are somber. We are hoping for the best and bracing for the worst," Florez says.

Previous story:

Jan. 22, 2012: Search to continue for girl, 6, swept into Clackamas River

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