At least nine people have died in a flood in Arizona.
Maria Raya's 26th birthday was Sunday. Phoenix in July was searing hot.
So Maria and her family headed to Arizona's high country for what should have been a peaceful weekend splashing in a cool mountain stream.
Instead, their trip turned deadly when a "40-foot-wide black wave" of rainwater, mud and debris tore through a narrow canyon and swept the family away on Saturday.
The water took Maria, the day before her birthday. It took her three children ages 3, 5 and 7, most likely her husband, as well, and five other family members, relatives said.
It led other relatives to clamber along the creek through knee-deep water, in the dark, shouting their names, until they made a terrible discovery: one child's body in the debris.
By Sunday, nine had been confirmed dead. Maria Raya's husband, Hector Miguel Garnica, 27, was still missing.
Officials had not released the names of the dead, but family members, who drove to Payson to help search, told The Arizona Republic that 14 family members were at the swimming hole when the flood struck around 3 p.m. Saturday.
The victims included:
Maria Raya, who would have turned 26 on Sunday, and her children Emily, 3, and Mia, 5, and Hector Daniel, 7.
Maria's sister Maribel Raya, 24, her daughter Erika Raya, 2, and Maribel's brother Javier Raya, 14.
Selia Garcia, 60, the mother of Maria, Maribel and Javier.
Jonathan Leon, 13, Celia Garcia's grandson.
All were from Phoenix.
Four other family members, a married couple and their two children, were treated at a local hospital for hypothermia and were released.
Read more: (Link: www.azcentral.com)