The Office of the Snohomish County Medical Examiner has released the names of 27 victims of the March 22 mudslide that struck east of rural Oso, Wash. The confirmed number of the dead stands at 30, with fears that the number will continue to rise as searchers excavate the mud and debris left by the slide.
Alan M. Bejvl
Alan Bejvl and Delaney Webb (Personal Photo)
Twenty-one-year old Alan M. Bejvl of Arlington, Wash., worked at Reece Trucking & Excavating in Tulalip, Wash., according to the Seattle Times.
When the mudslide struck, Bejvl and his fiancée, Delaney Webb, were visiting Webb’s grandparents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, to plan their summer wedding on the property, reports NBC News. Webb and her grandfather, Thom, have been confirmed as dead; her grandmother is reported as missing. According to the Times, Bejvl grew up nearby on a trout farm.
Shelley Bellomo, 55-year-old woman from Arlington, Wash., is remembered by friends and family, reports the Seattle Times, as a nature lover who helped neighbors and friends. Her longtime partner, Jerry Logan, has also been confirmed as a victim of the landslide.
Sixty-five-year old Thomas Durnell was at his home on Steelhead Drive when the mudslide struck. He and his wife Debbie, who was not at home on that day, moved to that location from Snohomish only a year ago, according to the Eugene, Ore., paper The Register-Guard.
Durnell himself grew up in Eugene. Before retiring, he worked behind the scenes at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Intiman Theater in Seattle, NBC News reported. Then he put his carpentry skills to use in construction and cabinetmaking. According to his Facebook page, he leaves behind four children and seven grandchildren.
Adam Farnes, 23, was missing until Tuesday, April 1, when his body was identified at Harborview Medical Center, according to Anchorage Daily News.
Adam lived with his parents, Julie and Jerry Farnes. He worked as a police dispatcher in the small fishing village of Cordova.
Julie Farnes has been confirmed as a victim of the landslide. Jerry remains in Washington state with his oldest and youngest son.
Julie A. Farnes
Fifty-nine-year-old Julie A. Farnes of Arlington, Wash., and her husband, Jerry, had moved to rural Washington about a year ago, after they retired and relocated from the town of Cordova, Alaska, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Before Farnes retired, she worked for UPS as the only delivery person in Cordova. According to King5, Jerry was not at home when the mudslide occurred.
Christina A. Jefferds
Christina A. Jefferds (Northwest Smile Design)
Christina Jefferds, 45, was a wife, mother, grandmother and dental office manager. She was with her 4-month-old granddaughter, Sanoah Huestis, when the Highway 530 mudslide struck. Sanoah has also been identified as a victim of the mudslide.
"My mom was super sweet, and so incredibly kind, and gentle-hearted," Jefferds' daughter (and Sanoah's mother), Natasha Huestis, told the Los Angeles Times. "She just wanted love; she wanted happiness. She had an adventurous side, and some things she tried before she passed away were skydiving, indoor skydiving, and flying trapeze."
Northwest Smile Design, a dental office in Marysville, where Christina Jefferds worked as an office manager for about 20 years, posted an online tribute to her.
“Chris was a beautiful person inside and out,” wrote Dr. Kelly Peterson. “She was a counselor and a confidante, a steadying and calming force in times of stress, a source of inspiration and beauty, a true friend.”
Gloria Halstead, 67, was at home when the mudslide hit, according to The Herald of Everett, Washington. Her husband, Jerry Halstead, 74, is reported as missing.
Sonoah Heustis (KIRO TV)
Sonoah Huestis, a 4-month-old girl from Arlington, Wash., was the granddaughter of Oso firefighter Seth Jefferds, who was away from their home with Sonoah’s mother, Natasha Huestis, at the time of the slide, the Seattle Times reports. “She could just light up a room,” Natasha Huestis told the Times.
Amanda B. Lennick (Personal Photo)
Amanda Lennick, a 31-year-old woman from Arlington, Wash., was a nurse at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, the Seattle Times reports. Lennick had just moved into her new home on East Steelhead Drive.
On the morning of the slide, three workers had just arrived to help Lennick with her home. Two of the workers, Bill Welsh and Stephen Neal, have been confirmed as victims. Lennick had moved about a week before. The property was vacant and foreclosed when Lennick bought it, King 5 reports, meaning Lennick may not have known of the potential hazards in the area.
Gerald E. Logan
Known as Jerry, Gerald E. Logan, 63, was “always ready to lend a hand,” whether it was to local stray cats or a neighbor who needed help installing a new hot-water tank, friends and relatives told The Seattle Times. He was known throughout the area as a skilled handyman who did everything from build barns to install decks.
Logan had a Saturday morning habit of going to the store to buy coffee, two packs of cigarettes and three DVDs, and then he'd be “set for the weekend,” neighbors told the paper.
He was at home on Steelhead Drive with his longtime partner, Shelley Bellomo, 55, when the slide hit.
Jovan Mangual, 13, was at home on Steelhead Drive with his stepfather, Bill Spillers, and three siblings when the slide struck. Jovan, who went by Jojo, was the son of Army Staff Sgt. Jose Mangual, who dug through the rubble looking for his son and told Q13Fox that the devastation in the area of the slide was worse than anything he had seen on his five deployments.
Jojo played football at his school, wearing jersey number 10. His mother was out shopping at the time of the slide and survived. A helicopter crew pulled his 4-year-old stepbrother, Jacob Spillers, to safety. His stepsister Kaylee Spillers has been confirmed dead. His father and stepsister Brooke are missing.
Linda L. McPherson
Linda L. McPherson (KIRO TV)
Linda McPherson, 69, was a former librarian and school board member. She and her husband Gary “Mac” McPherson were reading the newspaper Saturday morning, separated only by a living-room end table, when the mudslide struck, daughter Kate McPherson told the Seattle Times. Mac McPherson was able to grab a stick and dig himself out of the mud.
According to the Associated Press, McPherson grew up with her six brothers and sisters in Oso in a home on Washington Highway 530. "She loved the land,” Kate McPherson said. “That was her home. She was never going to leave.”
Joseph R. Miller
Joseph R. Miller (KIRO TV)
Forty-seven-year old Joseph Miller, a nature photographer, was "a very gentle, caring person,” his mother, Maralee Hall, told the Seattle Times.
Miller had been living with his father, Reed, about half a mile from the troubled hillside when the mudslide occurred. Reed had been out shopping for groceries at the time of the disaster. According to NBC News both father and son had been planning to move from the area shortly.
Stephen A. Neal
Stephen A. Neal (KIRO TV)
Stephen A. Neal, 55, of Darrington was a contractor who was doing plumbing work at the time of the mudslide, according to NBC News.
He owned his plumbing business for about 30 years, son Ryan Neal, of Marysville, told the Seattle Times. Ryan Neal described his father as someone always concerned about others. “He was definitely out to help other people,” he said.
Summer R. Raffo
Summer R. Raffo (KIRO TV)
Summer Raffo was driving on Highway 530 when the mudslide struck. The 36-year-old worked as a custodian and a farrier, according to the Seattle Times.
“On that Saturday morning,” The New York Times reports, “she was on her way to meet a client to shoe a horse. When the slide struck her, it hit so fast that she did not even have time to lift her hands off the steering wheel,” her brother told the paper. Raffo, of Arlington, Wash., had been married for two years.
Leon J. Regelbrugge III
Leon J. Regelbrugge III (KIRO TV)
Leon J. Regelbrugge III, 49, was a commander in the U.S. Navy. “He was a commander and would have made captain shortly too,” John Regelbrugge Sr., his father, told NBC 7.
Regelbrugge’s wife, Kris, is believed to have been caught in the slide as well, but her death has not been confirmed by the medical examiner. The couple, who had been married for 17 years, had five children.
Hunter Ruthven of Arlington, Wash., was a 6-year-old boy whose parents, Shane and Katie Ruthven, operated a small business called Mountain Lion Glass, according to the Spokesman Review. Both Katie and Shane Ruthven have been identified as victims of the slide. The family lived on Steelhead Drive along with Hunter’s younger brother, 4-year-old Wyatt. Hunter was also the grandson of victim Judee Vandenberg.
Katie Ruthven, 35, was a wife, mother and small business owner. She worked with her husband, Shane to expand Mountain Lion Glass, a glass shop that offered automotive glass repair and residential and commercial glass services. Before starting a business, Katie studied pre-law at the University of Washington and worked as a paralegal, reported the Seattle Times.
Shane M. Ruthven
Shane M. Ruthven (Personal Photo)
Shane Ruthven, 41, Katie Ruthven and their sons, Hunter, 6, and Wyatt, 4; and Shane Ruthven’s mother, Judee Vandenburg, and stepfather, Lewis Vandenburg, lived on Steelhead Drive in the slide area, according to the Spokesman Review. Hunter, and Judee and Lewis Vandenburg have been confirmed as victims of the landslide. Wyatt and Katie Ruthven are listed as missing by the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
He and his wife owned Mountain Lion Glass. The couple recently purchased property in Ocean Shores, with the idea of having a place to share vacations with their large, extended family, his father-in-law, retired Snohomish County sheriff’s Sgt. Thomas Pszonka, told the Seattle Times.
Pszonka said his daughter and son-in-law were incredibly kind and created a haven where their children could ride four-wheelers and motorcycles.
“They found their dream home, a little A-frame they rebuilt from scratch” on Steelhead Drive, where the family had planned to celebrate Thomas’ birthday last Sunday, the day after the slide, Pszonka told the Times. “They had 150 feet of water frontage. It was a beautiful spot where no one bothered you. It was a dream come true for all of us.”
Thom E. Satterlee
Thom Satterlee (Personal Photo)
Thom Satterlee, 65, grew up in Seattle and joined the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, during which he suffered a disabling injury, his sister Debbie Satterlee told the Seattle Times.
Satterlee was also a well-known figure in Snohomish County politics. In the 1990s, Satterlee was among the most vocal supporters of a movement to carve a new government, called Freedom County, from a 1,000-square-mile area in Snohomish County’s north end, according to the Everett Herald.
"In all aspects, you could call Thom a good and interested citizen," former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel told NBC News.
Satterlee was at his house on Steelhead Drive with his wife Marcy, 61, his granddaughter Delaney Webb and Webb's fiancé Alan Bejvl, when the slide came. Webb and Satterlee's wife are missing.
He was happiest, Debbie Satterlee said, making Marcy happy.
Lon E. Slauson
Lon E. Slauson (KIRO TV)
Lon Slauson, 60, worked as a security guard at Arlington’s Medallion Hotel, according to King 5. His lived on Steelhead Drive and owned multiple properties in Oso that had originally belonged to his parents.
Kaylee B. Spillers
Kaylee B. Spillers (KIRO TV)
Five-year-old Kaylee was one of Billy and Jonielle Spillers' four children. The family moved to the Oso area from Seattle about two years ago, according to the Seattle Times.
Billy Spillers, a chief petty officer at Naval Station Everett, and the children were watching television when the mudslide hit. Kaylee's 4-year-old brother, Jacob, survived and was among the first rescued by helicopter, the Associated Press reported.
Judee S. Vandenburg (Personal Photo)
Judee Vandenburg, a 64-year-old resident of Arlington, Wash., was previously a bar owner in Spokane, according to The Seattle Times. She had recently moved to Steelhead Drive to be near her grandchildren. Her son, victim Shane Ruthven, who lived next door, owned a small business, Mountain Lion Glass, with his wife Katie. She was the grandmother of Hunter and Wyatt Ruthven and was married to victim Lewis Vandenburg.
Lewis F. Vandenburg
Lewis F. Vandenburg, 71, of Arlington, Wash. was retired, but had previously worked for the Department of Corrections in Spokane, Wash. He also served in the Marines, according to The Seattle Times. Vandenburg was the stepfather of victim Shane Ruthven, married to Judee Vandenburg, grandparents of Hunter and Wyatt Ruthven.
Brandy L. Ward
Brandy Ward (KIRO TV)
Brandy L. Ward, 58-year-old resident of Arlington, Wash., was at her Steelhead Drive home with her husband and their dogs when the mudslide swept away the house. Her husband Tim suffered a fractured pelvis but survived along with one of the couple’s dogs, reported King5.
Delaney Webb, 19, was visiting her grandparents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, at their home on Steelhead Drive at the time of the mudslide. Webb and her fiancé, 21-year-old Alan Bejvl, lived in an apartment in Everett with two rescue dogs, Anna and Molly, according to The Seattle Times. They were in town to plan their wedding, which was set to take place by the riverside in August.
Webb and Bejvl met in high school, when Webb was a cheerleader and a “fashionista,” her great-aunt Debbie Satterlee told the Times. The couple wore matching camouflage rings and planned to buy land for their own log cabin, a family and horses. “They left their lives at the peak of their joy,” Bejvl’s mother, Diana Bejvl, told the Times.
“I'm so glad they went together," Delaney’s mother Nichole Webb River, who was at her home in Stafford, Texas, at the time of the slide, told Click2Houston.com. “I'm blessed to think it was really fast and they didn't know what hit them.”
William E. Welsh
William E. Welsh (KIRO TV)
William Welsh of Arlington, 66, was an electrician and a Vietnam War veteran. He worked for 25 years at Marysville-based Whitley Evergreen, where he was head of the electrical department, the Seattle Times reported.
According to the Associated Press, Barbara Welsh said her husband was heading out to install a new water heater at the home where Stephen Neal was working.
MORE: Photos of the Mudslide
Searchers work at the scene of a deadly mudslide Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Oso, Wash.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Pool)