Third landslide victim found near family home in B.C.
JOHNSONS LANDING, B.C. — Rescuers have recovered the body of a third victim who died after her family’s home was levelled by a huge landslide in a southeastern British Columbia community.
Coroner Lisa LaPointe said 17-year-old Rachel Webber’s body was found around suppertime Wednesday near the front of what had been her home in the hamlet of Johnsons Landing.
LaPointe thanked everyone involved in the search, including volunteers and a forensic analyst who pinpointed the best locations to search in a debris field that covers more than 32 hectares.
The bodies of Webber’s 64-year-old father Valentine and her 22-year-old sister Diane were found in the same area last week.
The search for Webber resumed Wednesday after rescue crews determined it was safe enough to go into the tiny Kootenay Lake area that was hit by the slide on July 12 after torrential rain led a mountain to give way.
A 64-year-old German woman named Petra Frehse remains missing and the search for her body has ended.
Despite digging a trench that was seven metres long and 10 metres wide, searchers were still not able to find her body, LaPointe said.
“I’m very sorry that we weren’t able to do that for the Frehse family, but where that house was located in the slide field just made it impossible.”
Death certificates will be issued for all three members of the Webber family, while an application to presume the death of Frehse will also be submitted, LaPointe said.
The remains of Valentine and Diane Webber have already been released to their family, and Rachel Webber’s remains were expected to be released Thursday.
A celebration of life for the four victims will be held on Saturday in Argenta, a hamlet close to Johnsons Landing, said Frances Maika, spokeswoman for the Central Kootenay Regional District.