News

28 confirmed dead, 20 still listed as missing in wake of Oso mudslide

Father Tim Sauer, of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington and St. John Vianney Mission in Darrington, explains that Catholic Community Services is providing financial assistance to the families of victims, to cover the costs of their funeral and burial expenses. - Kirk Boxleitner
Father Tim Sauer, of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington and St. John Vianney Mission in Darrington, explains that Catholic Community Services is providing financial assistance to the families of victims, to cover the costs of their funeral and burial expenses.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — As of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, the official death toll of the Oso mudslide included 28 victims in the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's office, of whom 22 had been identified and six had not, while another victim's body was found in the debris during the day, but had not been added to the official count, because the body had not been retrieved and sent to the ME's office.

Arlington residents Thom E. Satterlee, 65, and Lon E. Slauson, 60, were removed from the list of missing, as their bodies were identified by the Medical Examiner's office, reducing the number of identified missing persons from 22 to 20.

Although continued clear skies and dropping water levels facilitated search and recovery operations for the more than 270 tactical personnel and volunteers in the debris field on April 1, a forecast of three inches of rain between Thursday, April 3, and Sunday, April 6, had crews anticipating renewed difficulties.

Dean Warner, of the state's incident management team, touted the recent completion of a service road, made up of not only logging and power line access roads, but also newly built roadway, which he noted was completed in about two days, but warned against using unless you're part of the search and recovery operations, due to safety concerns.

Father Tim Sauer, who serves as pastor of both the Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington and St. John Vianney Mission in Darrington, explained that Catholic Community Services, in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Seattle, is providing as much financial assistance as the families of victims need, through those Catholic churches in Arlington and Darrington, to cover the costs of the families' funeral and burial expenses. Families can request this assistance regardless of their financial needs or religious affiliation.

"Every family I have spoken with has expressed to me, again and again, how comforted and strengthened they have been by the extraordinary response of the communities, reaching out to them and supporting them, and also how extraordinarily grateful they are for the incredible effort that so many agencies and so many people are making, up on that site, to try and recover the remains of their loved ones," Sauer said on April 1.

Two joint resource centers are open to provide information and resources to those affected by the slide. The centers are located at the Immaculate Conception Parish, at 1200 E. Fifth St. in Arlington, and at Darrington Middle School, at 1075 Fir St. in Darrington.

Gary Haakenson, executive director of public safety issues for Snohomish County, had explained on Monday, March 31, that the ME's office will update the official count of victims twice a day — at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. — on its website at www.snohomishcountywa.gov/530slideme.

Haakenson had also directed those who had made public records requests recently to Snohomish County's website at www.snohomishcountywa.gov.

Of the 28 Oso mudslide victims in the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's office, the ME has identified the following 22:

1. Christina A. Jefferds, 45, from Arlington.

2. Stephen A. Neal, 55, from Darrington.

3. Linda L. McPherson, 69, from Arlington.

4. Kaylee B. Spillers, 5, from Arlington.

5. William E. Welsh, 66, from Arlington.

6. Shane M. Ruthven, 41, from Arlington.

7. Lewis F. Vandenburg, 71, from Arlington.

8. Summer R. Raffo, 36, from Arlington.

9. Joseph R. Miller, 47, from Arlington.

10. Leon J. Regelbrugge III, 49, from Arlington.

11. Alan M. Bejvl, 21, from Arlington.

12. Julie A. Farnes, 59, from Arlington.

13. Hunter Ruthven, 6, from Arlington.

14. Shelley L. Bellomo, 55, from Arlington.

15. Amanda B. Lennick, 31, from Arlington.

16. Judee S. Vandenburg, 64, from Arlington.

17. Sonoah Heustis, 4 months, from Arlington.

18. Gerald E. Logan, 63, from Arlington.

19. Brandy L. Ward, 58, from Arlington.

20. Thom E. Satterlee, 65, from Arlington.

21. Lon E. Slauson, 60, from Arlington.

22. Adam Farnes, 23, of King County.

The following 20 individuals were still listed as missing as of April 1:

1. Ronald M. Dequiletts, 52, Arlington and Bothell.

2. Thomas M. Durnell, 55, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

3. Bonnie J. Gullikson, 91, State Route 530 NE, Arlington.

4. Mark J. Gustafson, 54, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

5. Steven N. Hadaway, 53, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

6. Jerry L. Halstead, 74 Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

7. Gloria J. Halstead, 67 Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

8. Denver P. Harris, 13 Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

9. Steve Harris, 52, Arlington.

10. Theresa Harris, 52, Arlington.

11. Jovan E. Mangual, 13, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

12. Larry Miller, 58, Arlington.

13. Sandra Miller, 64, Arlington.

14. Molly K. Regelbrugge, 44, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

15. Katie Ruthven, 35, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

16. Wyatt Ruthven, 4, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

17. Mary Satterlee, 61, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

18. Billy Spillers, 30, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

19. Brooke Spillers, 2, Steelhead Drive, Arlington.

20. Delaney M. Webb, 19, Steelhead Drive, Arlington (alternate address is Marysville).

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