Canadian authorities say they have recovered the body of a man from a British Columbia mudslide, bringing the total number of fatalities from the disaster to eight.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday that the victim, 44-year-old John Higdon, was found in the Granby River on the Ganges River in the Eastern Kootenay region. Police have not released the man’s name, but his family issued a statement and asked for privacy.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm my brother’s body has been found following the devastating mudslide,” said the statement from his sister, Christine Todd. “He was a loving husband, father and husband to his wife, Denise, and also had an amazing family who adored him. John was a very talented writer and advocate for poor people.
The Granby River washed away part of Higdon’s home in Sicamous, a community of 2,300 near the Oregon border. His son and brother were inside the home when the slide struck on Nov. 27, and he had taken them and his dog to a vacation cottage downstream shortly before, the neighbor’s son said.
Officials have not said how many other people are still missing in the slide, which was 1,000 feet wide at its deepest point. The slide killed six adults and two children, identified as Nana Park Kwenais, 9, of West Kelowna, and Alysha Elliott, 13, of Magrath, Alberta.
Sicamous Fire Chief Rob McDonald told the British Columbia Civil Aviation Authority that the debris was “lifted by gravity.”