3 more Washington mudslide victims identified

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm •  Published: April 17, 2014

OSO, Wash. (AP) — Authorities have identified three more bodies pulled from the debris of the mudslide that swept through the Washington town of Oso last month.

All 39 victims recovered have been identified, the Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Thursday, and four names remain on the list of the missing. Crews continue to dig through the devastation with a swarm of excavators.

The latest victims identified are Wyatt M. Ruthven, 4, of Arlington; Sandra K. Miller, 64, of Everett; and Ronald P. Dequilettes, 52, of Arlington. All died of multiple blunt force injuries.

The March 22 slide buried dozens of homes in the community 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Steady rain Thursday complicated the search and recovery effort, and officials worried about rising water from the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.

A steady run of dump trucks Wednesday piled tons of crushed rock to raise the height of a 2,000-foot-long berm constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has allowed workers to pump water out of a main search area and separate it from the river.

Nearly an inch of rain was expected on top of about 2 inches that had fallen since Tuesday night, said Gary Schneider, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle.