Matilda Athens Ortiz

Mom asks public to share photos as crews search for missing autistic girl who slipped, fell into river: Report

Search crews are trying to find an autistic California girl who fell into a river and apparently got swept away by the current on Sunday afternoon.

FOX 40 reports that the 5-year-old girl was with her father and his friends at the Stanislaus River, near Knights Ferry, when she slipped and fell into the water while sitting on a rock. The father and two male friends reportedly tried to jump in and grab her, but the current was too strong.

The girl’s aunt told the outlet that the child’s name is Matilda Athens Ortiz. Both air and water emergency teams arrived at the scene and have been trying to find the little girl, but so far haven’t had any luck.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

“Her father went and jumped in the water after her, but because of the water current and how cold it is — it’s really high this time of year — he started struggling, and he was not able to reach his daughter,” Stanislaus County sheriff’s spokesman Royjindar Singh said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Matilda’s family asked for her photos to be shared with the public, in case someone happens to see her. The girl’s mother and other family members were at the Russian Rapid trail early Monday morning to help search for her, The Modesto Bee reports.

“I just can’t sit here and do nothing,” Matilda’s mother, Maria Vasquez, said.

On Sunday night, crews called off the search but resumed again on Monday morning. California’s Department of Water Resources stated that the water is currently around 50 degrees.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

Join Nancy Grace for her new video series new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.

[Feature Photo: Matilda Athens Ortiz/Handout]