Deputies Find Van Washed Away With 6 Family Members Inside

HOUSTON, TX - HOUSTON, T.X. - A Houston family's worst fears were confirmed Wednesday when a van swept away by Hurricane Harvey floodwaters — carrying an elderly couple and four great-grandchildren — was found submerged in a bayou.

"We have a total confirmed six dead dead at the scene," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said after the van was pulled out of the murky water.


Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the van was in about 10 feet (3 meters) of muddy water in Green's Bayou in northeast Houston. He says the bodies of two adults could be seen in the front seat but that if the four children's bodies are inside they were obscured because of the water conditions and the angle of the vehicle.

"They are devastated," Gonzalez said of the victims' relatives. "Our worst fears have been realized."

The grim discovery ended three days of anguished waiting for the Saldivar family, who had given up hope the missing six would be found alive but who were desperate to recover the bodies.

Samuel Saldivar told deputies he was in his brother's van rescuing his parents and relatives from their flooded home Sunday when the van was tossed by a strong current into the bayou as it crossed a bridge. He escaped through a window but the others were trapped. 

NBC News contributed to this story.

© 2017 Associated Press


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