12 Jun 2016

Weather further delays search for Emily

1:45 pm on 12 June 2016

The search for a two-year-old girl missing near Harihari on the West Coast is not going to resume today.

Emily Saunders has been missing since the four wheel drive vehicle she was in became partially submerged while crossing the swollen Poerua River on Thursday.

The body of another of the five people in the vehicle, 66-year-old Greymouth man Barry Petrie, was found on Friday.

The other three people in the vehicle managed to get out.

The search for the child has been hampered by bad weather, and police say the search will not resume until tomorrow.

Emily's family have thanked the police and local community for their support.

Her parents, who managed to escape from the vehicle, said in a statement she was a happy, cheeky little girl who loved the outdoors.

They said she would be missed by her parents and older sisters, Tiffany and Natalie, and all who knew her.

They said their thoughts were with the family of Mr Petrie.

Police said the rain was not due to clear until Monday.