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Search continues for body of child who drowned in White River

(Photo courtesy: family of Promise Archer)

DES ARC, Ark. (KATV) -- The search continues for 9-year-old Promise Archer, who drowned in the White River Sunday.

Des Arc PD along with the Prairie County Sheriff's Office and divers with the Game and Fish Commission using sonar equipment continue navigating through the murky, debris-filled water Tuesday.

Promise's family tell Channel 7 they don't plan to leave the river until their daughter's body is found.

"Mommy's so sorry, baby. And I miss you more than anything, and I love you with all my heart." Those are the words Emilia Anderson wishes she could say to her daughter.

Promise was riding on the back of a four-wheeler on a popular sandbar Sunday afternoon with some friends, Anderson says.

But what was supposed to be a normal day, turned deadly when Anderson watched Promise dip into the water and get swept away by the current.

"She went under, she didn't come back up. I knew something was wrong when I saw her swinging her arms," Anderson said.

The mother watched helplessly as her daughter fought the flowing waters. And at 3:40 p.m., that fateful 9-1-1 call came in.

"My child is in the river, my child is drowning, I need somebody out here. They gout out her but they got here a little too late," Anderson said, fighting back tears.

The search for Promise is far from over, her father Drew Archer tells Channel 7, noting that there's no hope for closure until the little girl's body is found.

"I just want to see my baby's face," Archer said.

Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman says it's been years since a drowning has occurred.

But as authorities continue looking, the sheriff's office invites anyone who had a boat to volunteer in the search for Promise Archer.

Authorities add that no matter how good a swimmer anyone is, people should always wear a life jacket while out on the water.

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