Oso landslide search area contaminated


by KING 5 News


Posted on April 1, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 1 at 1:45 PM

OSO, Wash. -- The search area at the Oso landslide is now considered contaminated due to sewage and chemicals. Searchers on Tuesday donned protective suits.

WATCH: Seahawks, Sounders visit landslide community

The number of people killed in the March 22 landslide rose to 27 Tuesday morning, with 19 of those victims identified, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Managers working the scene said Tuesday Highway 530 is in worse condition than first thought.

“The power of the slide came down with so much energy and just wiped out the highway bed and there is nothing left. It’s just fill,” said Steve Harris, Division Manager.

Water from the Stillaguamish River that’s trapped at the dig site is receding thanks to clear, dry weather over the last two days.

Geologists are on scene, helping point searchers in the direction where bodies would most likely be located based on the direction of slide debris.

WATCH: Oso slide search taking toll on crews, volunteers

On Monday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit released a list of 22 people presumed missing. That means eight of the victims that the coroner has yet to identify could be on the missing list.

The Sheriff’s Office said detectives carefully reviewed each of the missing person cases based on available information and conversations with family members.

"To have released a list earlier of 90 to 100 names would have been irresponsible," Snohomish County Executive Director Gary Haakenson said Monday afternoon.

"The Sheriff's Office hasn't released these names without some pause," he said. "These are 22 people that we cannot account for. These are 22 people whose loved ones are grieving. We want to do all we can to find them and put some closure in place for their families."

The Sheriff's Office asked that anyone who should not be on the following list call the Sheriff’s Office tip line immediately at (425) 388-3845.

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

2. Durnell, Thomas M., age 55, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

3. Gullikson, Bonnie J., age 91, SR 530 NE, Arlington

4. Gustafson, Mark J., age 54, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

5. Hadaway, Steven N., age 53, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

6. Halstead, Jerry L., age 74, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

7. Halstead, Gloria J., age 67, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

8. Harris, Denver P., age 13, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

9. Harris, Steve, age 52, Arlington

10. Harris, Theresa, age 52, Arlington

11. Miller, Larry, age 58, Arlington

12. Miller, Sandra, age 64, Arlington

13. Regelbrugge, Molly K., age 44, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

14. Ruthven, Katie, age 35, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

15. Ruthven, Wyatt, age 4, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

16. Satterlee, Thom, age 64, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

17. Satterlee, Mary, age 61, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

18. Slauson, Lon E., age 59, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

19. Spillers, Billy, age 30, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

20. Spillers, Brooke, age 2, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

21. Webb, Delaney M., age 19, Steelhead Dr., Arlington (alternate address is Marysville)

22. Mangual, Jovan E., age 13, Steelhead Dr., Arlington