Second body found Monday at Johnson Landing as recovery operation continues
The BC Coroners Service is confirming that the recovery team found a second human body Monday afternoon at the site of the Johnson Landing mudslide on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake.
“We did find remains of a female this afternoon, (however) identification has been not confirmed,” Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe told The Nelson Daily Monday from the Kaslo Arena, site of the afternoon media scrum.
“We are continuing recovery efforts for the remaining missing people.”
The second finding, at approximately 1 p.m., comes a day after BC Coroners Service took over the operation, now deemed a recovery mission after the first body of the four missing people in Thursday’s massive slide — believed to be that of Valentine Webber, 60, but still not confirmed — was found Sunday.
“No confirmation as of yet has been made but we presume the body to be that of Mr. Webber,” Lapointe said.
“We believe he was the only male on the site but identification has not been confirmed.”
Webber and his two daughters, Rachel, 17, and Diana Webber, 22, along with a German visitor Petra Frehse, 64 — were caught in a massive landslide that roared down Gar Creek Thursday in Johnson Landing north of Kaslo.
Search and rescue teams, including the HUSAR (Heavy Urban Search and Rescue) from Vancouver, were brought in to try to find the missing residents.
Lapointe said the two bodies were found outside one of the three houses destroyed by the slide.
“The body of the female was found not far from where the male was found so it was fairly in close proximity to the residence,” Lapointe explained.
Lapointe said a team of 24 Search and Rescue members helped by heavy equipment continues delicately search for the two remaining missing people.
Recovery teams have concentrated on the homes destroyed in the slide that measured 2,000 metres long, 100-200 metres wide and at least three to five metres deep.
Searchers focused on the highest probability sites based on mapping, GPS and best information from community.
The RCMP is also near the scene of the slide providing security and emphasized the volatility of slide area and importance to stay away.