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Remains of Montecito teen missing since 2018 mudslide found, mother confirms

Jack Cantin.jpg
Posted at 2:23 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 22:39:51-04

UPDATE (4:55 p.m.) - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office released new information late Thursday afternoon, saying the coroner's office is in the process of reviewing a forensic report prepared by UCSB Anthropologist Dr. Danielle Kurin.

The sheriff's office is not yet confirming the identity of the remains found, but says Kurin’s one-page “Fast Fact Forensic Report” says she is more than 90 percent certain they are those of Jack Cantin.

The sheriff's office says it’s seeking the full report, adding that the case involving the teen's disappearance remains open.

ORIGINAL STORY: The remains of a Montecito teen missing since a devastating debris flow in 2018 have been found, Kim Cantin confirms to KSBY.

Her son, John “Jack” Cantin, was one of two children who were still missing following the Jan. 9, 2018 mudslide that unleashed a torrent of mud and debris from the mountainsides above the southern Santa Barbara County community.

Countless searches have taken place in the years since in an effort to find 17-year-old Jack and 2-year-old Lydia Suttithepa.

Kim Cantin did not provide information on where or when her son’s remains were discovered.

She was home with her family when the mudslide swept through Montecito three-and-a-half years ago. Kim and her daughter, Lauren, survived. Her husband, Dave, was killed.

The area where the debris flow occurred had recently been ravaged by the Thomas Fire. More than a half-inch of rain fell in about 15 minutes, and there was nothing to hold back the huge boulders, burned trees, dirt and water.

Power was wiped out and it wasn’t until daylight that the true extent of the damage would be known.

The 1/9 Debris Flow, as it’s come to be called, destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and Highway 101 was closed for nearly two weeks.

Jack and Lydia were among the 23 people killed.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has not yet confirmed the discovery.

Cantin family.PNG
Cantin family