At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

The family of an Arizona man who went missing after a deadly weekend flash flood is holding on to hope for his safe return.

Hector Garnica, 27, disappeared Saturday after torrential rains flooded the Cold Springs swimming hole in the town of Payson, Arizona, where he and his family were celebrating his wife’s birthday.

The trip turned deadly when Garnica’s wife, Maria Garnica, and their three children, Danny, 7, Mia, 5, and Emily, 3, were carried away and killed in the flood. Five other members of the family were also killed, and four people were rescued.

Rescue teams have been urgently looking for Garnica via air and ground searches since the incident happened. Authorities hadn’t announced any leads as of early Tuesday morning, but Hector Garnica’s family said they are optimistic.

“He has to be found, they can’t stop looking until he is found,” his sister, Carla Garnica, told ABC affiliate KNXV on Tuesday. (AP)

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At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

The entrance sign to the Water Wheel recreation area points the the waters where victims were caught in a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River Monday, July 17, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. The bodies of several children and adults have been found after Saturday’s flash flooding poured over a popular swimming area in the Tonto National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

A Navajo County rescuer searches the riverbank under the bridge where one body was recovered in Tonto National Forest, Ariz., Monday, July 17, 2017. Rescuers continue the search for a missing 27-year-old man, who was swept downriver with more than a dozen others when floodwaters inundated the area on Saturday. (AP Photo/Angie Wang)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Dead trees, other debris and mud come to a stop near the First Crossing recreation area during the search and rescue operation for a victim in a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River Monday, July 17, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. The bodies of several children and adults have been found after Saturday’s flash flooding poured over a popular swimming area in the Tonto National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

First responders gather near the entrance to the First Crossing recreation area during the search and rescue operation for a victim in a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River Monday, July 17, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. The bodies of nearly a dozen children and adults have been found after Saturday’s flash flooding poured over a popular swimming area in the Tonto National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

A group of people who identified themselves as relatives of the missing man walk along the riverbank, not far from where one body was recovered in Tonto National Forest, Ariz., Monday, July 17, 2017. Rescuers continue the search for a missing 27-year-old man, who was swept downriver with more than a dozen others when floodwaters inundated the area on Saturday. (AP Photo/Angie Wang)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Storm clouds loom over Tonto National Forest, Ariz., where rescuers are still searching for a missing 27-year-old man washed away by floodwaters, Monday, July 17, 2017. Sheriff’s officials said thunderstorms and heavy rain could endanger rescuers searching upstream. A torrent of water came Saturday as people were cooling off in a creek when a rainstorm upstream unleashed floodwaters that killed nearly a dozen people. (AP Photo/Angie Wang)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Members of the Coconino County Search and Rescue Team take a break near the entrance to the First Crossing recreation area during the search and rescue operation for a victim in a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River Monday, July 17, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. The bodies of several children and adults have been found after Saturday’s flash flooding poured over a popular swimming area in the Tonto National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

The muddy water was much lower near the Water Wheel recreation area where victims were caught in a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River Monday, July 17, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. The bodies of nearly a dozen children and adults have been found after Saturday’s flash flooding poured over a popular swimming area in the Tonto National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

A helicopter flies above the rugged terrain along the banks of the East Verde River during a search and rescue operation for victims of a flash flood on Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Muddy floodwaters of the East Verde River flow under a bridge were at least one victim of a flash flood was found during a search and rescue operation by the Gila County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

The Water Wheel Campground parking lot is blocked off by authorities Sunday, July 16, 2017, in the Tonto National Forest, Ariz., after a deadly flash-flooding hit Saturday afternoon at Cold Springs canyon. (Alexis Bechman/Payson Roundup via AP)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Members of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue team walk back to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office mobile command center after searching for victims of a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River on Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

The creek under the First Crossing Bridge is seen Sunday afternoon, July 16, 2017, following a deadly flash-flooding that ripped through Saturday in the Tonto National Forest, Ariz. (Alexis Bechman/Payson Roundup via AP)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Gila County Sheriff’s Office deputy Larry Hassinger stands watch at the entrance to the First Crossing recreation area during a search and rescue operation for victims of a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Gila County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. David Hornung briefs members of the media during a search and rescue operation for victims of a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz.

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Members of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue team exit a section of forest after searching along the banks of the East Verde River for victims of a flash flood, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Muddy floodwaters of the East Verde River flow under a bridge where one victim of the flash flood was found during a search and rescue operation by the Gila County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Brad Cole, of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, listens during a briefing at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office command center during a search operation for victims of a flash flood along the banks of the East Verde River, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Tonto Search and Rescue volunteers search for missing swimmers near the Water Wheel Campground on Sunday morning, July 16, 2017, in the Tonto National Forest, Ariz., following Saturday’s deadly flash-flooding at a normally tranquil swimming area in the national forest. (Alexis Bechman/Payson Roundup via AP)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

A Department of Public Safety helicopter hovers over as a mortuary vehicle awaits for victims on the parking lot of Water Well Campground in the Tonto National Forest, Ariz, Sunday morning, July 16, 2017, following Saturday’s deadly flash-flooding at Cold Springs canyon. (Alexis Bechman/Payson Roundup via AP)

At least 9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Members of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue team look along the banks of the East Verde River for victims of a flash flood, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Payson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)