Plum River

SAVANNA, Ill. — A 5-year-old girl died Sunday at a Rockford, Illinois hospital after rescue crews found her unresponsive in the Plum River.

Savanna police responded to a call of three missing children about 12:42 p.m. Sunday, according to a press release issued over the weekend.

Shortly after 1 p.m., Savanna Police, Savanna Fire and Emergency Medical Services and the Carroll County Sheriff’s arrived at the Plum River where a 12-year-old boy told them that two 5-year-old girls were in the river.

Police found one of the girls clinging to a tree in the river and pulled her out unharmed.

Searchers found the other 5-year-old girl in the river about a half-mile downstream at about 1:13 p.m. She was unresponsive and was life-flighted to Rockford Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead about 4:15 p.m, the press release said.

“Unfortunately, last night they could not bring that little girl back,” Lt. Dan Nevills of the Savanna Police Department said. “So, she passed last night.”

The Plum River is a small stream compared to the Mississippi River, Nevills said.

“When I say river, we’re not talking the Mississippi,” Nevills said. “We’re talking about the Plum River which is a small finger that runs off of the Mississippi. The problem with that is, it’s three feet in some areas and eight to 10 feet in other areas, and it runs really fast.”

As of Monday afternoon, the name of the girl who died had not been released, but family members shared information on Facebook about a GoFundMe page for the victim.

Family members have requested privacy. They described the victim as a sweet and caring little girl who loved her parents and siblings. The family has asked for prayers.