Search continues for missing boy in Rainbow creek - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Search continues for missing boy in Rainbow creek

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RAINBOW (CBS 8) - A search continued Tuesday for five-year-old, Phillip Campbell, believed to have been swept into a storm-swollen creek in the Rainbow area along with a man who since has been found dead.

Crews have so far recovered the body of 70-year-old Roland Phillips, a close family friend, believed to have been with the little boy at the time of their disappearance. Loved ones say he was almost like a grandfather to little Phillip.

On Monday, after another long day of searching for the missing boy, crews called off efforts, saying the water was too high to continue searching.  

CBS News 8's Heather Hope spoke to a Fallbrook woman who grew up with the missing boy's family and knew the elderly man whose body was found Monday.

Christine Bolding says the man served as a close family friend, and she believes he was driving with the boy Sunday night before the two ended up in the creek.

"My heart dropped because he's the son of a very good friend of mine," Bolding said. "It saddens me to hear of such a tragic way to go and they have not found him."

"Just a tragic thing that has happened and we don't ever want to find a child," said John Buchanan of the North County Fire Protection District. "But we know that we need to find a child, if there is one out there." 

The search for the missing child lead to the discovery of an adult body north of Escondido in a Rainbow area creek Sunday night.  

It was reported at 4:30 p.m. Sunday near the 4800 block of 5th Street, near Interstate 15, Buchanan said. 

San Diego County Sheriff's deputies said a family member reported a man in his 70's and a five-year-old boy were missing out of Fallbrook. There were multiple reports of a possible child being carried away by the swift moving water.

"We had a report last night of a man in his 70's and a five-year-old boy missing and that's what we're investigating right now,” explained Ryan Keim the PIO for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. 

Search crews, including North County firefighters and Oceanside lifeguards among others, pulled a man's body from a Rainbow creek around 10 a.m. Monday using a yellow raft in fast-moving water. Sunday night crews also had to call off their efforts because it was too dark and risky at that time. 

"They did discover a body that was entwined in some shrubs and bushes down there," Buchanan said.  

The search team of more than 20 kept looking, when they spotted a car that had busted windows and found a car seat inside the 4-door 1997 Toyota.  

"Our next priority was to get the car out," said Buchanan 

The creek was about 8 - 10 feet deep and had a lot of thick brush. 

"There's a lot of snags, bushes and the banks are really soft," said Buchanan. "I even stepped in an area that I thought was just all sand and I sunk down to my knee, and it was basically like quicksand." 

The search area Monday was located behind Rainbow Oaks Restaurant on 5th Street near Old Highway 395.  

Property owner Richard Uhler said people at the restaurant and others living nearby alerted him to a child in the creek on Sunday night.  

"She specifically saw a blond haired child around three years old and I have a four year old so I ran to my guest house to check on my grandchildren,” said Uhler. 

Uhler said his grandchildren are safe, but he's worried about the young victim. He allowed search crews onto his property Monday so they could remove the car from the swollen creek. 

Uhler said he's seen the creek flood, but never this badly before. 

"The roads were all flooded, the water was up higher than I've ever seen it before," said Uhler.  

Officials warned locals to stay away from the flood water as the search continued. 

"People need to know that if they see water flowing across the road, do not drive across it," Buchanan said.  
 
Search teams returedto the area on Tuesday and brought canines to assist in the search.  

Christine Bolding said she wants her friend's son found.

"I came down here today to pray for them," Bolding said. "Pray for him and I hope they find him."

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