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Body of Bothell electrician missing in Oso slide found

Bothell resident Ronald P. de Quilettes
Bothell resident Ronald P. de Quilettes's body was recently found in the Oso slide.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Authorities identified the body of 52-year-old Ronald P. de Quilettes of Bothell from the debris of the mudslide near the town of Oso last month.

De Quilettes died of multiple blunt force injuries. Born in the Netherlends, de Quilettes was a husband, father and grandfather and worked as an electrician. He was a member of Parkridge Community Church in Bothell and was very involved in missionary work in Thailand. He met his wife in Bible college 31 years ago and the couple has four children.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said Thursday it has now identified all 39 victims it has received.

The March 22 slide buried dozens of homes. Steady rain Thursday is complicating the search and recovery effort, and officials worry about rising water from the North Fork Stillaguamish River.

Search and rescue teams have made good progress on a temporary berm to hold back water and allow workers to continue their search at the site of the State Route 530 slide. Progress was made on the berm construction on Sunday, and pumps were installed to remove water from the southeast corner of the debris field, within the berm. When the water level is effectively reduced, recovery crews will be able to intensively search the area, according to a Snohomish County spokesperson.

On the west side of the slide area, along the SR 530 corridor, heavy machinery moved debris from areas that have already been thoroughly searched. Repositioning the debris will provide better access to other areas that need to be more thoroughly searched. The debris will be placed on areas that already have been completely searched.

On Monday, the Washington State Department of Transportation and Snohomish County are having a meeting at the Darrington Community Center from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to gather input from local citizens about developing short and long-term plans for SR 530.

Officials also are preparing for President Barack Obama’s visit to the site on Tuesday. He plans to survey the damage and meet with victims and emergency responders.

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