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Confirmed death toll from Washington mudslide rises to 33 with 30 bodies identified

Body of Billy Spillers, Navy petty officer who was home with his children when the Washington mudslide hit, identified.
By Frances Burns   |   April 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM   |   Comments

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EVERETT, Wash., April 7 (UPI) -- The number of confirmed dead in the deadly mudslide in Washington State rose to 33 Monday, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner reported.

Officials said that 30 of the bodies had been positively identified. The most recent was Billy Spillers, 30, whose daughter, Kaylee, 5, was identified March 27 and his stepson, Jovon Mangual, 13, last Thursday.

Most of the dead identified so far are adults. But a 4-month-old girl and a boy, 6, have also been identified.

The March 22 slide in the village of Oso buried an area about a mile square in mud and debris, much of it many feet thick. The mud blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and covered a highway.

Spillers, a petty officer in the Navy stationed in Everett, Wash., was home with his children while his wife was out. Another daughter, Brooke, 2, is missing, while a son, Jacob, was rescued.

In the days immediately after the disaster, authorities said more than 160 people had not been accounted for. That number has shrunk and the likely death toll now appears to be no more than 50, although officials say some bodies will probably remain buried.

In an application for federal major disaster status, Gov. Jay Inslee said the cost will include paying for 48 funerals.

The mudslide is now the third deadliest natural disaster in Washington history, after the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, which killed 57 and a 1910 avalanche in Stevens Pass that buried two trains, killing 96 passengers and rail employees.

Topics: Jay Inslee
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