JANESVILLE—The body of a 9-year-old girl who officials have been searching for since Thursday, was found in the Rock River Monday morning.
The body of Madison Billups was found at about 11 a.m. after a citizen reported seeing a body the the water in the area of the Bellrichard Bridge. The body was found about 5,000 feet downstream from where the girl was last seen on Thursday, according to a joint news release from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and the Janesville police and fire departments.
The search efforts began after first responders were called to the Rock River near the Monterey Bridge where two people reportedly had fallen into the river. A fesherman reportedly was able to rescue one person, but the girl was still missing.
Multiple search boats were lauched in an effort to find the girl. Rescue and dive efforts continued for several hours until darkness and extremely swift currents made search efforts difficult.
Search efforts resumed on Friday and the Indianford Dam was closed to help in the search efforts. A trench box was placed upstream to divert the river’s current and create a manageable diving environment. Searches by boats and drones continued through the weekend.
Members of the Janesville Fire Department, Janesville Police Department, Rock County Sheriff’s Office Dive, Rescue and Drone teams, Jefferson County Dive Team, Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin State Patrole, Beloit Police Department, Milton Fire Department, Town of Beloit Fire Department, Beloit Fire Department, K( Search on Site, Southern Wisconsin Emergency Preparedness Team and Bjoin Limestone Inc. were involved in the search effort.