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Parents of children swept away by floodwaters in Tonto Basin facing manslaughter, child abuse charges

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 18:44:58-04

After three children were swept away in the Tonto Basin last year,< /span> the parents of two of them, who are the aunt and uncle of the third victim, are facing charges in the deaths.

Daniel Rawlings – who was driving the vehicle that got swept away at the time -- is being charged with three counts of reckless manslaughter and seven counts of child or vulnerable adult abuse, according to the Arizona Supreme Court website.

His wife, Lacey Rawlings, is facing seven counts of child or vulnerable adult abuse.

Daniel and Lacey escaped from the truck with four children. That group was rescued and taken to shore with the assistance of a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office helicopter.

However, the couple’s 5-year-old son Colby and 6-year-old daughter Willa didn’t make it.

The couple’s niece Austin Rawlings, 5, was also found dead.

The children were reportedly located separately downstream from where the family was swept away at Bar X Crossing.