“It’s a popular area in that part of the county for people to wade and swim,” Pope County Sheriff PIO Rodney McNeese said.
The department said calls like these are always difficult.
“It always touches home when it’s a child with officers and all the responders.”
The Illinois Bayou is in Scottsville, close to Hector, Arkansas.
This type of tragedy isn’t common for the area, but they are on high alert during spring storms.
“It’s always a concern when especially children are around water this time of year and we get a lot of rain which will raise the creeks and bayous quite a bit,” McNeese said.
The water there is moving quickly, just like most streams or rivers in Arkansas after a lot of rain.
Officials said that means people have to be extra careful.
“It’s something we’re always aware of,” McNeese said.
The department is still working to find out what exactly happened. They said she was with family at the time and wasn’t wearing a life vest or a skilled swimmer. They want people to be very vigilant around water.
“Everybody be aware of where their children are when they’re around a waterway like this and take the appropriate precautions with them,” McNeese said.
The Sheriff’s office said the child’s body will likely be sent to the crime lab for an autopsy. They haven’t yet released any names as of Monday at 7 p.m.