Severe weather impacts search for 12 year old girl swept away in Shoal Creek

Search paused in the early afternoon as severe weather moved into the area.

NEOSHO, Mo. – The search for a 12-year-old girl who was swept away in Newton County’s Shoal Creek continued Thursday morning, but was cut short by severe weather.

Officers say at around 4:14 p.m., 12-year-old Kaylin Brown was pulled into the water by a strong current at Lime Kiln Public Fishing Access. They say 34-year-old Trevor Hicks attempted to rescue her and was also pulled into the water. Neither were able to get out because of the strong current.

Rescue crews were able to pull Hicks from the water. He was taken to Freeman Hospital and last reported in critical condition. Kaylin was not located, and the rescue was called off at 9:00 p.m Wednesday night.

“Water rescue and being in the water just isn’t safe after dark,” explains Neosho Police Chief Jason Baird. “At that point, we believe it turned into a recovery instead of a rescue. It’s been too long.”

The search for the girl continued at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, with drones looking overhead and crews searching in the water.

But the search was cut short by severe weather. At around 1:00 p.m., crews had to pause the search due to lightning and heavy rain that caused Shoal Creek’s level to rise quickly. The search has been postposed until Friday morning, or until it is safe to resume. Brown has not been found.

“We have had many citizens show up attempting to help, however, we urge you to stay out of the area, no further recovery assistance is needed,” adds Baird in a press release. “The park will remain closed until the recovery operations are finished.”

We will continue to bring updates to this story as they become available.