Search for missing 5-yr-old girl in South Hadley

Posted: 07/07/13 at 10:50 pm EDT      Last Updated: 07/07/13 at 11:01 pm EDT

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WHDH) -- Police said the search for a missing 5-year-old on vacation with her family from California has turned into a recovery operation.

A witness saw the girl fall off a dock and into the water in South Hadley. Several adults immediately jumped in but could not find her. She may have been swept away by the strong current.

Residents in the area have noticed a difference in the water levels of the river between this year and last year.

“It was clear and calm last year. I was out here on the Fourth of July. I was able to go swimming. It was crystal clear. You could walk out maybe 15-20 feet. This year, it just hasn't calmed down,” said Chris Valine, South Hadley resident.

This is the second tragic accident on the Connecticut River this summer. In June, a teenager fell from a rock and drowned right across the river from where the missing 5-year-old girl fell in.

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