Child’s body confirmed by family as Mattie Sheils, who had been swept away in a Philadelphia river

“Our little Mattie has been brought home to us,” family says after 2-year-old found

“Our little Mattie has been brought home to us,” family says after 2-year-old found


The body of a 2-year-old girl who was swept away along with her 9-month-old brother, was confirmed as that of Mattie Sheils on Saturday by authorities.

Upper Makefield Police Township Police Department posted on Facebook Saturday that “we are grateful that prayers were answered and that we were able to bring Mattie home,” adding that the search continues for Mattie’s brother.

“This has only strengthened our resolve to reunite Conrad with his family and sister. So, today, search operations will continue in the manner described in last night’s press conference,” the post read. 

The Sheils family posted a statement on the police township’s Facebook page that read: “The Sheils family would like to express their continued gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of love, support, and concern from the community and from people around the country as rescue workers have worked tirelessly to find Mattie and Conrad. We are grateful that our little Mattie has been brought home to us. We are still praying for the return of Conrad. Thank you all, again, for your compassion and your kindness. We are humbled.”

Mattie Sheils, who was swept away during flash flooding in a Philadelphia river.

Upper Makefield Township Police Department

During a news conference on Friday, Upper Makefield Township Fire Chief Tim Brewer said a body believed to be Mattie was found in the Delaware River in the city of Philadelphia after being reported by multiple 911 callers a little after 5 p.m. local time, south of the Betsy Ross Bridge.

The girl’s body was recovered and taken to the Philadelphia coroner’s office for identification, he said.

The girl’s body was discovered about 32 miles south of where Mattie and her brother Conrad were swept away on the night of July 15 in Upper Makefield Township in Bucks County. Five other people — including the children’s mother — died when a roadway in Upper Makefield Township flooded during a powerful storm.

The Charleston, South Carolina, family was driving when they got caught in the flooding. The children’s father, grandmother and 4-year-old brother were also in the car at the time, and survived, officials said.  

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