RAINBOW, Calif. - A candlelight prayer service was held Thursday night in memory of a California preschooler who was swept away by a storm-swollen creek and died, KSWB reported.
The body of 5-year-old Phillip Campbell was found Thursday morning under a pile of thick brush, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Kiem said.
A 911 caller reported seeing what appeared to be a child being washed away by rushing floodwaters in Rainbow on Sunday, sheriff’s deputies said. The boy was in a car with a family friend when the vehicle was apparently swept into the overflowing creek, KWSB reported.
Thursday evening, family and friends gathered at a church to light candles and sing.
"I'm just glad they found him ’cause it was killing me," said the boy's father, Timothy Campbell. "He was just a good little man. He was going to be a strong little guy.”
Family members said 73-year-old Roland Phillips, who also died in the accident, was a family friend of Phillip and that the two were an inseparable pair, even with seven-decades age difference, KSWB reported.
Emergency personnel searching the area had found Phillip near a submerged car on the edge of the creek, but could not recover the man’s body until Monday, KSWB reported.
Phillip Cambell was remembered by his grandmother as a wonderful boy who loved pizza and roughhousing.
"We used to wrestle. He liked to learn, he liked to hug," she told KSWB. "He’s in a happier place, a better place … We just miss him, that’s why we’re crying."