Crews searching for missing 9-year-old along Rock River to resume Monday

JANESVILLE, Wis. – Crews searching for 9-year-old Madison Billups ended their search Sunday shortly after 3 p.m., but plan to resume recovery efforts early Monday morning.

Billups went missing shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday night, when she was swept underwater. Since, crews have shut down the Indian Ford Dam to help the search in a portion of the river that is particularly dangerous.

On Saturday, crews began searching several miles further down the river from the former Monterey Dam site where Billups was last scene.

“We’re not getting anything that we need to further investigate.” said Captain Mark Thompson from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office. “The bottom of the river changes in several different locations. It’s been making the search more difficult.”

Thompson says the search was called early Sunday afternoon, but says crews will continue their search Monday morning beginning at 6 a.m. and continuing until nightfall.

Family members have also been involved in the search, describing Billups as “intelligent and loving”.

Thompson says members of the community wishing to help in the search are asked to begin at Preservation Park (3444 S Riverside Dr, Beloit, WI 53511) and work south, as not to interfere with the sonar first responders are using.

While Thompson says his crews are tired, he believes they’re not giving up hope.

“We have a little girl that’s missing in the water,” he said.