Photographer Dies After Being Swept Away By Flood Water While Snapping Photos in Storm Drain

Philadelphia photographer Rebecca Bunting was swept away by flood water on Saturday when she was trying to take photos in a storm drain.

rebecca bunting
(Photo: Instagram/ frantastic420)

The 30-year-old Bunting was with her boyfriend in Pennypack Creek in Northeast Philadelphia at around 6 p.m. that night when flash flood waters swept them away. According to ABC6, her boyfriend told witnesses he pulled himself out of the water and was separated from Bunting.

Her body was not found until 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning. Police said she likely died Saturday night. Her body was trapped under a piece of furniture in the creek.

A neighbor told ABC6 he called 911 Sunday morning. He heard a man calling for help, and looking for Bunting's body. Dive teams were called to the scene, but they could not find her.

Police said Bunting and her boyfriend, who was hospitalized with minor injuries, were taking photos for an "Urban Exploration" series without permission, reports PEOPLE. The couple ran a website together called Abandoned Central, where they shared photos from abandoned urban sites.

"She was always trying to get really cool photos. She's really talented," Bunting's friend, Cristen DeDomenico, told ABC6. "She could bring out beauty in any landscape."

Bunting's friends said she recently returned from a European trip. She was from Maryland, and moved to Philadelphia last year. She worked as a bartender at a Miller's Ale House in South Philadelphia.

Bunting's boyfriend posted tributes to her on Instagram, and shared a photo from the trip to Milan, where Bunting is holding pigeons.

"'Show me them, show me them big f– choppers' is exactly what I said to her when I took this photo," her boyfriend wrote. "Her face lit up with the biggest smile ever. We loved making fun of each other. She'd make fun of my ears and I'd make fun of her teeth all the time. This was in Milan Italy when we took a break from exploring to check out the city. I wish I took more photos of you my love. There's so much more I wish I would of done. I'm trying to stay strong for you, I know you hated seeing me in pain and would do whatever you could to make it go away."

Bunting's own Instagram page featured many of her photos of abandoned sites. She had over 15,000 followers.


"My camera is my tool," Bunting wrote in the caption of a 2017 photo of herself. "Through it I give reason to everything around me."

Photo credit: Instagram/ frantastic420