Navy commander among the victims in deadly mudslide - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Navy commander among the victims in deadly mudslide

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 (CBS 8) - More information has been revealed regarding a local connection to the mudslide catastrophe in Washington State. A Navy commander who reportedly served in San Diego for several years is among the victims pulled from the mud.

Meanwhile, four specialists from San Diego County are on the ground, getting a first look at rescue assignments, as a child was found amid all the devastation.

"Everything impacts you because your heart goes out to the families because there are close ties," said Mark Alvarez, Cache Manager for California Task Force 8.

The video showed a daring rescue by air as the young boy was taken to safety.

However it wasn't so uplifting for everyone. There was devastating news for the family of decorated U.S. Navy commander John Regelbrugge who was stationed in San Diego for years. His father spoke with CBS 8 News during the extensive search in Washington State.

"Keep looking whether they find my son alive because everybody needs closure," said John Regelbrugge's father.

It's unclear what happened to his wife after officials found the body of Regelbrugge and his dog near his home Tuesday night in the Pacific Northwest town of Oso, which is about 55 miles from Seattle.

The father of five children is part of a growing death toll from the mudslides. A map shows the damage that covered a square mile and part of an interstate where the couple lived, over the weekend.

It's a battle for FEMA and 18 specialists volunteering from California. Mark Alvarez with California Task Force 8 is in close communications with his four specialists on the ground, saying:

"Our first mission is to make sure our people that are rescuers don't become potential victims."

They're holding out hope as, at last report, 176 people were still listed as missing.

Rescue workers are using cadaver dogs and their bare hands to dig through the sludge.

"It's hard to get heavy equipment close to areas that don't have any infrastructure left," continued Alvarez.

Critics say geologists predicted catastrophic mudslides and that the area was dangerous to begin with.

The four specialists will act behind-the-scenes and help with logistics and communications - in essence keeping other rescuers safe on the ground and in the air.

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