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Officials identify deceased, missing victims in Alaska landslide

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

(WRANGELL, Alaska) — Alaska state officials have released the identities of the victims of a landslide that left three people dead and another three missing.


The landslide occurred shortly before 9 p.m. local time Monday near Wrangell, a city in the Alaska Panhandle, along the Zimovia Highway at mile 11, officials said.

Three homes were determined to be directly in the path of the landslide — two houses on the mountainside and one on the waterside of the highway — according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety. One of the mountainside homes is believed to have been empty at the time, officials said.

Five of the victims belong to the same family, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

The victims who were found dead at the scene were identified as Timothy Heller, 44; Beth Heller, 36; and Mara Heller, 16, officials said Friday.

The victims who remain missing at Otto Florschutz, 65; Derek Heller, 12; and Kara Heller, 11, according to the state Department of Safety.

Next of kin has been notified, officials said.

On Thursday, officials resumed their search for Florschutz and the younger Heller children after all the areas accessible without heavy machinery had been searched.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety searched the region with several resources including K9s, drones, boats and helicopters since the landslide struck Monday night, but have not found any signs of the remaining missing persons.

“After three separate active search efforts…search teams have reached all areas accessible without heavy machinery,” the agency said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The bodies of three people, two adults and a juvenile girl, were recovered by search and rescue teams as of Tuesday evening.

The landslide is estimated to have measured 500 feet across the highway, officials said.

A woman who lived on the mountainside of the highway was rescued Tuesday morning and was listed in good condition, according to officials.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has declared a state disaster in the state.

Officials said that emergency crews will begin to start clearing the roadway and look if the missing three people are buried.

“If new evidence or information suggests that any missing people may be in a specific area or slide zone, the Alaska State Troopers may restart the active search focused on that new area,” the Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso and Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.

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