ESTACADA -- A 9-1-1 call from the father of a six-year-old girl swept into the Clackamas River last Sunday gave a glimpse into the family's horrible struggle to get help.
Vinesa Snegur, of Portland, slipped into the water as she was walking with her family and playing in the snow. Searchers have been scanning the riverbank and the water since Sunday night.
Her father Igor Snegur spoke Thursday, to thank to the community for their continued support and prayers.
Ask people who can pray for us to support our family, this has actually been the worst period of time in my life, he said.
A donation fund was set up for the family at Chase Bank for the Home of God Christian Church.
Her father tried in vain to catch up with her, running on the ice-covered shoreline. Then, she went out of site and the family drove for nearly 30 minutes to find the nearest phone to call 9-1-1 for help.
Is there a child still in the river? the dispatcher asked Igor Snegur. Yeah, I tried to catch her, but I couldn't, he responded.
A site was also set up at http://helpfindvinesa.com.
On Tuesday, searchers found some of the clothing that Vinesa was wearing when she was swept into the Clackamas River, but suspended the search for her due to weather conditions.
I love all of the children, said volunteer searcher and family friend Raul Zepeda. To hear one is missing brings the worst feeling into your heart.
Divers found the hood from Vinesa's jacket two miles downstream from where she fell in, according to Sgt. James Rhodes of the Clackamas County sheriff's office. They also found her fleece jacket on the bottom of the river three miles downstream and her outer jacket on the bank of the river eight miles downstream.
Specially trained K-9 teams have not found any evidence that Vinesa climbed out of the river on her own, Rhodes said.
After those clues were found, the search was suspended late Tuesday afternoon, due to near-freezing conditions, heavy rain and high river levels.
Vinesa fell into the river near Austin Hot Springs, about 60 miles southeast of Portland. Vinesa and her parents, Igor and Marina Snegur, had parked in the Mount Hood National Forest where a road was close to the water. She vanished downriver as her father tried to run to her from the shore.
It was just a second of inattention, Rhodes said. He turned away. Then, splash, and she fell in. He ran and tried to keep up with her, but he was unable to.
After Vinesa was swept into the water, her family looked for her for about an hour, while trying to call for help on cell phones in the remote area. They finally reached authorities from a land line at the Ripplebrook Ranger Station about 25 miles east of Estacada just after 4 p.m., Rhodes said.
About 50 people were assisting in the search early Tuesday before the effort was suspended. One group focused on the shore, a second on the water, Rhodes said.
The Clackamas River was running high, fast and cold following a winter storm that brought rain and snow to the region. Riverbanks were covered with ice.
She is just a really sweet little girl, one volunteer searcher who knows the family told KGW.
Larry Miller, who works at the store at the Ripplebrook Station, said the family was very distraught. At the station, the father sat wet and wrapped in towels. He joined with rescue crews to return to the scene.