Latest on victims, missing people of Montecito mudslides - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Latest on victims, missing people of Montecito mudslides

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Families of the dead are grieving this week while others hold out hope their loved ones will still be found alive after devastating mudslides swept through Montecito. 

Family members and friends tell KSBY News the following people are among those reported missing: 

Fabiola Benitez, 29 was at home with Jonathon Benitez, 10, when the mudslide hit her neighborhood  on East Valley Road. Jonathon has been confirmed dead by the Sheriff's Office along with her relatives Marilyn Ramos, 27 and Kaelly Benitez, 3. 

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Morgan Corey, 25  has been missing since Tuesday morning. Her sister Sawyer Corey, 12, is among the dead. Morgan Corey was last seen in the 1200 block of East Valley Road in Montecito. 

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Jack Cantin, 16, is also among the missing, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the Cantin family. His mother Kim Cantin and 14-year-old sister Lauren survived and were rescued from the mudslide. His father, David Cantin, 49, is confirmed dead.

If you need to report someone missing, go to redcross.org and click on "get help."

You can also list yourself as safe on the Red Cross website.

For help, call the information line at (805) 681-5542 or text (805) 699-0165.

As emergency crews continue their search for the missing, friends and family are sharing stories about those who have died. 

The death toll currently stands at 17. Officials expect that number to rise in the coming days. 


Josephine "Josie" Gower, 69 - The grandmother of three was known for always being active, her love of swimming and making new friends. Gower was semi-retired but had a career as a nurse. Family members say she loved spending time with her grandchildren and at the YMCA. Gower is survived by her son, daughter and boyfriend. Her boyfriend was the last person to see her Tuesday morning. 

Click here for more on Josie Gower's story. 

Alice Mitchell, 78 - KSBY News learned Wednesday night that Alice Mitchell and her husband died in the mudslide when it hit their Hot Springs Road home. Family members says the couple's bodies were found on Olive Mill Road. She leaves behind a son, daughter and grandchildren. 

James "Jim" Mitchell, 89 - Jim and his wife Alice lived in their Montecito home for about 20 years. He was known for his love of cars and took pride in his two Mercedes and Cadillac. He and Alice loved their mixed toy poodle GiGi and spending time with their family. 

Click here for more on Alice and Jim Mitchell's story. 

Rebecca Riskin, 61 - The community is remembering local real estate agent, wife, sister and mother Rebecca Riskin. Colleagues from the real estate company she owned confirmed her death on Facebook.

Her partners wrote: "Per her wishes, we intend to carry out her life’s work with the same strength, grace and elegance that wholly defined Rebecca. Rebecca was an exceptional woman, and her legacy will continue to live on and thrive through her children, Robert and Julia, her husband Ken Grand, and her namesake firm, Riskin Partners." 

Click here for more on Rebecca Riskin's story.

Roy Rohter, 84 - Santa Barbara and Ventura county residents are mourning a man known for helping others. Rohter founded the St. Augustine Academy in Ventura and was a major proponent of the Catholic education system. Rohtor's wife Theresa was injured in the storm and hospitalized. Rohter is survived by three children and several grandchildren. 

Click here for more on Roy Rohter's story. 

Peter Fleurat, 73 - Friends and family of longtime Montecito resident Peter Fleurat are remembering him for his unforgettable laugh, love of world travel, passion for the environment and his fun, loving personality. He and his life partner of nearly 20 years Ralph "Lalo" Barajas were sleeping in their Hot Springs Road home when the flash flood hit. 

Fleurat moved to Santa Barbara in the 1970s and studied nursing at Santa Barbara City College. He worked as an end-of-life caretaker. Fleurat was married to Dorothy Lutz Fleurat for 17 years and recently spread her ashes. 

Click here for more on Peter Fleurat's story. 

Jonathan Benitez, 10 

Kailly Benitez, 3

Marilyn Ramos, 27

Martin Cabrera-Munoz, 48

Click here for more on Jonathon & Kailly Benitez, Marilyn Ramos and Martin Cabrera-Munoz. 

David "Dave" Cantin, 49

Sawyer Corey, 12

John McManigal, 61

Mark Montgomery, 54 - Was a doctor at Associated Hand Surgeons. He and two of his children were at home when the flash flood hit and were caught in the mudslide, a family friend confirmed to KSBY. KSBY has learned that his daughter, Caroline Montgomery, 22, died in her brother's arms. His wife and other daughter were out of state at the time. 

Caroline Montgomery, 22,