Brothers, Son Recover Mudslide Victim's Body From Debris

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/ Source: Associated Press

The body of U.S. Navy Cmdr. L. John Regelbrugge III was recovered Tuesday by three of his brothers and his son from the aftermath of a massive mudslide in Washington state, one of the brothers told NBC News.

"Today me and my two brothers and his son pulled John's body from the debris," Greg Regelbrugge texted to NBC News producer Diane Duthweiler.

Greg Regelbrugge had held out hope on Sunday, a day after the slide devastated an area around rural Oso, Wash. "If someone can survive it, it’s him," he said of John, who served in the Navy for 32 years. "He's a strong man and committed father. If there's a way to dig himself out of this, he will."

Authorities said Tuesday night that two more bodies, presumably including Regelbrugge's, were recovered Tuesday, raising the confirmed death total to 16.

Eight more bodies were believed to have been found but hadn't been recovered, Snohomish County District Fire Chief Travis Hots told reporters Tuesday night.

— Mark Stevenson