Six Family Members Found Dead In Missing Van - Houston Police

Update 4:50 p.m. August 28: The Harris County Sheriff's Office said on Monday afternoon that it was not immediately able to confirm a report that a family of six was swept away by floodwaters and killed on Sunday.

According to KTRK-TV, Manuel Saldivar attempted to drive his parents and four children away from the flooding when the van was caught in rushing floodwaters Sunday on Greens Bayou.

Their relatives returned to the scene of the tragedy on Wednesday as floodwaters subsided and alerted police that the van was now visible, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

As the vehicle began to sink, Saldivar managed to climb out of the driver-side window and shouted at the children to escape from the back, a relative told The Associated Press.

They made, it Ric Saldivar said, but hit a dip in the road.

Although the driver - the children's great-uncle - was able to escape the auto before it went under water, the rest of the family was unable to make it out, KHOU 11 reported.

"We were able to retrieve the van, pull it out of the water", he said.

Authorities did not immediately verify the report, and no bodies have been recovered.

"No sleep & anxiety, please let this pass sooner", 16-year-old Devy Saldivar wrote. "It went head-first in, and water came in real fast".

"Obviously, they are devastated, as we all are as well", Gonzalez said. He grabbed onto a tree branch and urged the others to try to escape. Witnesses told the station that emergency crews in the area were not able to reach the van in time to rescue the six inside.

"He could hear the kids screaming and crying, trying to get out of the van", his brother, Ricardo Saldivar, told NBC News on Tuesday.

"He's still blaming himself, he was trying to do the right thing to get them out of the flood. and it just happened".

  • Joey Payne