The body of a five-year-old girl with autism has been found one day after she went missing from her home in Pennsylvania during a storm that caused havoc on the US east coast.
A multiagency ground and air search involving “several hundred people” was launched after Eliza Talal wandered away from her home on Tuesday afternoon (local time) during the peak of tropical storm Isaias.
Towamencin Township Police Department said the local community rallied to help track down the little girl who was non-verbal, continuing the search into the next day.
Authorities attempted to track Eliza using her iPad that she apparently took with her, but the device was found under a neighbour’s veranda.
Eliza's body was later found by a member of the community about three kilometres from her family home on Wednesday morning (local time) under foliage next to a creek behind her home after flood water had receded.
"The search continued into today, and unfortunately, around 10:40 today, our worst results came true," Chief of Police Tim Dickinson confirmed in a press conference.
Investigators believe Eliza may have been swept away when Towamencin Creek was overrun with floodwater.
"Our prayers go out to her family, who have suffered a terrible loss," Mr Dickinson said.
"Not the result that we were certainly hoping for,” he added.
Police have not yet released the cause of death but said they don’t believe there was any foul play involved.
Tropical storm Isaias has claimed the lives of at least nine people, AAP reports.
Isaias sustained top winds of up to 105 km/h more than 18 hours after coming ashore but they were down to 70km/h by early Wednesday.
It toggled between hurricane and tropical storm strength as it churned toward the East Coast.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.