The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said Nevaeh Jade Newswanger was visiting with her family when she was swept away by the water and went over the falls.
Emergency crews from Jackson, Transylvania, Haywood, Henderson, and Oconee counties went to the scene to help.
The child’s body was recovered around 1 a.m. Monday after she was found trapped in an area of the falls.
The Sheriff’s Office said Nevaeh is from Denver, Pennsylvania. Her family was living in Oconee County while working in the area.
Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall offered prayers and condolences to the family “as they grieve the loss of this precious young child.”
He also cautioned others about the dangers associated with visits to scenic areas such as Whitewater Falls.
“With the onset of spring weather, we need to be reminded of the dangers associated with many scenic areas of the region such as waterfalls,” Hall said. “While beautiful to view from a safe distance, venturing out closer to the falls for any reason brings tremendous danger.”
He urged visitors to keep a safe distance away, view the waterfalls from designated viewing areas and follow posted safety precautions and warnings.