UNION COUNTY, N.C. — The Union County Sheriff's Office confirmed deputies have located the body of the missing 1-year-old, who was swept away in rushing waters Sunday night.
Search activities resumed Monday after crews spent several hours searching for Kaiden Lee-Welch on the ground and in the nearby creek.
Officials said the child and his mother were traveling east on NC-218 going toward Wadesboro when the mother drove around road barricades.
They said the mother continued driving on NC-218 until her vehicle came across rushing water flowing across the road. Her car left the road, but eventually stopped among a group of trees at Richardson Creek near New Salem.
Authorities said the mother was able to free herself and Kaiden from the vehicle, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water.
"I was hydroplaning. I was trying to do everything I could and it got worse when water gets in your car. You start to panic, you start to freak, you think you're sinking fast. Everything just happened too fast," Kaiden's mother Dazia Lee told Channel 9.
Lee said they live in Charlotte but were in Union County visiting family.
"When water came in I was trying to calm my son. He was confused, that's all he was. He was just confused but I told him it's okay, don't panic, even though I was panicking, I told him don't panic," Lee said.
Lee was rescued shortly after. Kaiden's body was found not far from the car Monday morning.
Sheriff Eddie Cathey was noticeably heartbroken when he gave the update Monday afternoon.
"This momma has suffered tragically when she lost a child, that is all you can say,” Cathey said.
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