Kellen Burrow Vaughn, a 2-year-old boy from Humphrey’s County, Tennessee, has been missing since Saturday when floodwaters swept him away from his family. According to reports, the child and his family were at a Waverly apartment complex when the Tennessee flood became too strong. His parents and four siblings were rescued but the toddler was carried out of reach too quickly.
At the moment, police are scrambling to find out what happened to the 2-year-old boy. A more than two-day search has come up fruitless – no one knows where he is.
Kellen Burrow Vaughn’s grandfather Chris Hixson recalled the devastating moment the child was swept away. “One moment there was a little bit of water coming up through the door and then the next thing you know the surge was so strong that it actually busted the doors down,” Hixson explained. “He just happened to be in the back bedroom asleep and they couldn’t get to him fast enough.”
Hixson has reportedly driven daily from Southaven, Miss. to Waverly – a two-and-a-half-hour drive each way – to help search for his grandson. The family is praying for a miracle. Hixson admitted that while “it’s a devastating time,” he hasn’t given up hope.
According to Joe Underwood, an employee at Southaven RV, the Southaven, Miss. Business is collecting donations for those affected by the Tennessee floods. He said they are accepting “water, personal hygiene items, stuff like that” as donations. Other important items are “trash bags… cookies… even dog food.”
The RV company, which boasts as having “America’s largest indoor RV and Marine showroom,” is planning to fill a trailer with as many of those items as possible. Then the company is going to send the trailer to Waverly, delivering the donations by Friday.
Underwood explained that “it’s important because we’re a family-owned business and we want to help out families no matter where it’s at. But this one hits a little closer to home seeing as how one of our own’s grandchild is still one of the missing.”
A GoFundMe page was also set up to support Vaughn’s family. Madison McBrayer, the fundraiser’s organizer, wrote that she is “raising money for Brittney McCord, and her family. It was Brittney and Kalaub McCord’s youngest son, Kellen Burrow Vaughn, who was “swept away by the floods.” McBrayer said that “not only had this family, and many other families, experienced heartbreak, they’ve lost their homes.”
In an update on the GoFundMe page, Brittney McCord shared pictures of her home after it was destroyed. There was $1,300 donated to the family by Tuesday morning, with every penny going towards the family in mourning.
While Kellen Burrow Vaughn’s family still searches for the missing boy, dozens of other families are conducting their own searches for missing family members or mourning the loss of loved ones. The Tennessee flood claimed the lives of over 22 people and at least 20 more are still missing. The record rainfall – 17 inches of rain in under 24 hours – caused power outages, disturbed neighborhoods, and took people away from their families.
Among the deaths were 7-year-old twins who were taken from their father’s arms. Another victim, Wayne Spears, was the foreman of Loretta Lynn’s ranch. The Waverly Department of Public Safety has since released a list of those missing and asked anyone who has been in contact with them to alert authorities.
“If you have physically seen or talked to anyone on the list, call 931-582-6950 or go to McEwen High School, 335 Melrose Ave., and report to the gymnasium,” the public safety department pleaded.