A search party found the remains of 4-year-old Abraham Martinez Jr., about 30 yards from where they found his 5-year-old sister, Alexa Martinez, a day earlier. Flash flooding ripped the two from their mother's arms after she tried to ecape with them from her car.
"We were hoping to have better news, but at least the family will be able to put some of a closure," Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell told WTVD-TV of Raleigh.
Both children were inside their family’s car when flash flooding pulled the vehicle into a creek in Smithfield, about 30 miles southeast of Raleigh.
Their mother, Vanessa Castro, was rescued after making a 911 call late Monday. Their father, Abraham Martinez Sr., was in Charlotte on a construction job, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
Castro was on the phone with dispatchers for more than 20 minutes as her car was pulled closer to the Neuse River, the News & Observer reported.
“It’s up to my knees!” Castro is heard saying in the recordings. “It’s up to my knees. It’s up to my knees!”
The mother is then heard talking to her children: “Baby, we’re not gonna die."
Then, returning to the dispatchers: “Oh, my goodness. I don’t think I can get my kids out because I can’t see anything. I can’t see anything.”
Following instructions from dispatchers, Castro placed her son on the roof of the vehicle, but couldn’t manage to get her daughter onto the roof, the News & Observer reported.
The car was swept away and Castro found herself clinging to a tree – with the car and both of her children gone from her sight.
A crew of about 40 deputies from the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office were searching for the children Wednesday when Alexa’s body was discovered.
Authorities said emergency responders rescued the mother and son early Tuesday, but then their rescue boats capsized and the boy was lost to the water.
"We're fortunate that we had no loss of life for first responders the other night," Bizzell told WTVD.
On Wednesday, a group formed in Smithfield to pray for the family, the News & Observer reported.
“The devil is laughing tonight,” Donna Mitchell, a Garner resident who led the group, told the paper, “but he’s laughing alone.”
Fox News' Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.