Searchers find body of 1-year-old swept away by Florence floodwaters in Union County

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The Union County Sheriff’s Office said Monday morning that emergency workers found the body of Kaiden Lee-Welch, a 1-year-old boy swept away in rushing water Sunday.

The boy’s mother was driving east on N.C. 218 toward Wadesboro, in northern Union County, Sunday evening. Investigators said there were barricades on the road, which was flooded by nearby Richardson Creek.

The woman drove around the barricades, according to a statement from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, and tried to go through the flooded section of road. That’s when her car was swept off the road.

“Her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest amongst a group of trees,” sheriff’s officials said. “She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water.”

The search lasted until about midnight Sunday, according to Observer news partner WBTV. Searchers resumed looking for Kaiden early Monday. Shortly after 10 a.m., the sheriff’s office said he had been found dead.

“Our thoughts and prayers for the little boy’s family and all the search team members and law enforcement officers who helped in this matter,” the sheriff’s office said in a brief statement. “Very sad situation.”

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester