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Death Toll in Washington Mudslide Rises to 30

Image: A flower cross memorial is set up outside the Oso Community Chapel for mudslide victims in Oso
A flower cross memorial is set up outside the Oso Community Chapel for mudslide victims in Oso, Washington March 27, 2014. The death toll from a massive Washington state mudslide is expected to climb sharply over the next two days with 90 people still missing, authorities said on Thursday, even as they held out the faint hope of finding at least one more survivor. RICK WILKING / Reuters

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The official death toll from the Washington mudslide rose Thursday to 30, and 27 of those have been identified, the medical examiner said.

The latest victims to be identified are Gloria J. Halstead, 67, and 13-year-old Jovon Mangual. Each was on a list of missing released this week by the Snohomish County Sheriff's Department.

Thirteen people are still listed as missing in the aftermath of the March 22 collapse of a hillside in Oso, Wash., which buried dozens of home in mud and debris.

Funerals are set to begin Saturday, with one mortuary handling arrangements for a dozen victims.

As medical examiners painstakingly piece together the identities and lives of the people known killed when the mudslide wiped out a small Washington community, one mystery has emerged. One set of remains does not fit with the descriptions on the missing persons list.

The medical examiners know it is a male. But his remains give no clue as to who he was, or who might be looking for him. They can't even identify his age range. Without possible family members to compare, DNA tests are useless. At this point, gold teeth are all they have to go on.

— Patrick Garrity, with The Associated Press

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