Sheriff Will End Active Recovery Operations in Oso

Apr 28, 2014

Authorities are ending the active search for bodies more than five weeks after the Washington state mudslide.

Members of the Washington National Guard search the Oso landslide.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr

Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said today that it was a difficult decision because two people are still missing.

A reporter asked if that meant he was giving up hope of recovering them.

He said, "no."

"We're at a point where we need more information," Trenary said. "We need the water to go away in some cases. We need Mother Nature to give us a break. But we're not giving up on the two remaining people that are still missing."

Forty-one victims have been recovered, and 11 people were saved the day of the slide.

The search for the missing has involved hundreds of people and dogs who combed the debris field.

County Executive John Lovick says a commission will independently review what happened before and after the slide.

Transportation officials say it could take up to three months to clear debris from the mile-long stretch of Highway 530.

Copyright 2014 KUOW