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Esparto Couple Among More Than 100 Missing In Washington Mudslide

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ESPARTO (CBS13) — Two of the people missing in Saturday’s deadly Washington mudslide have family in our area who have been left shocked, but hopeful some of the missing may be found alive.

John Regelbrugge is a barrel of emotions as he holds onto the chance his son Navy Commander John Regelbrugge III, is still alive.

“I have troubled talking about it,” he said. “Good Lord willing, they’ll find him, I hope.”

But he admits that hope is being tested with every passing moment that Johnny and his wife Kris are among the more than 100 missing in the enormous mudslide north of Seattle where 14 people died.

“Every hour that goes by, it defies reason that someone could survive that long underneath that mud,” John said. “I’m hoping they’ll find him in one of the hospitals; they just didn’t record him as coming in.”

John says his other two sons have gone to Washington to try and help rescue efforts, but have been turned away.

“They let them get in close enough to see where the house used to be, but there ain’t nothing there,” he said. “It’s just a sea of mud.”

That seat of mud has swallowed everything has made it very tough for rescuers to get into the area, leaving a worried father still coping with his wife’s recent death.

“I haven’t gotten over my wife yet, and then this happens,” he said.

And now, Johnny and his wife are missing. As the worried father waits, John is asking rescuers for just one thing.

“Don’t give up, keep looking,” he said. “Whether they find my son alive or not, I’m sure there’s people still alive there.  And even if they’re not, everybody needs closure.”

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