Oso landslide death toll climbs to 29

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 5:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 2 at 9:15 AM

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- The official death toll from Washington state's mudslide increased to 29 Wednesday morning, and the Snohomish County medical examiner's office says 22 of those victims have been identified.

READ: WSU to waive tuition for victims of Oso landslide

That's up from 27 dead with 19 identified Tuesday morning.

The latest names added to the victims list are 65-year-old Thom E. Satterlee, 60-year-old Lon E. Slauson and 23-year-old Adam Farnes. Like the rest, they died of blunt force injuries suffered in the March 22 slide northeast of Seattle.

Satterlee and Slauson had been on the missing list. Officials say the number of people who are missing now stands at 20.

Officials say good weather and receding floodwaters near the rural community of Oso are helping in the search for human remains by exposing more sites that can be examined. There is more concern, however, of more rain coming later in the week.

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Managers working the scene said Highway 530 is in worse condition than first thought, but officials said Tuesday night that crews have constructed a temporary road that at least allows emergency workers to get from one side of the landslide to the other.

"The effort to do this was astonishing. They called upon a couple of operators and they called a couple of friends. They mobilized every ounce of heavy equipment possible and they completed this road in an incredible amount of time. In under 48 hours they had this road built around it," said Dean Warner, Incident Management Team 4. 

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

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

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit's list of people presumed missing was at 20 Tuesday afternoon, reflecting the office's most recent updates.

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. "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.

List of people presumed missing as of 4/1:

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, Mary, age 61, Steelhead Dr., Arlington

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

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

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

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

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