Boy rescued from mudslide, family missing
Video has emerged of a "freezing" four-year-old boy being pulled alive from the deadly Washington mudslide but his father and three siblings are still missing.
The known death toll stood at 24, with as many as 176 people still unaccounted for near the rural town of Oso, where a rain-soaked hillside collapsed on Saturday, cascaded over a river and engulfed dozens of homes on the opposite bank.
Dramatic footage of little Jacob Spillers being rescued just hours after the mudslide by the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team was posted to the rescue teams' Facebook page.
"Our team was conducting a training that morning only 25 miles south of the slide location and, as such, was able to arrive on scene very quickly,' a post with the video read.
Jacob's mud-covered blond hair was visible among the debris when a Snohomish County Helicopter flew overhead soon after, the Daily Mail reported.
Central Pierce Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Ed Hrivnak told Pittsburgh's Action News 4 they tried to land next to the boy, but were afraid of the helicopter getting stuck in the mud, so another team member reached down and pulled him in.
"It had to be overwhelming to have this loud, noisy helicopter to come up right next to him and he stood there looking as calm as can be," said Hrivnak. "That guy's a little trooper."
Jacob was rescued in just his underwear and one witness, Robin Youngblood, told Q13 FOX News she took off his wet clothes and wrapped him up because he was freezing.
"I told him I was a grandma," she said.
"We got him here and then his mum came to the hospital but she still hasn't found her other children."
The joy of finding Jacob quickly turned to anguish for Jacob's mother, Jonielle, who was out working as a nursing assistant during the time of the slide.
Her husband, Billy, and other children, Brooke, Kaylee and Jovon, were still missing.
Over the past week she has taken to Facebook to ask for her prayers to be answered and for her family to be returned.
"I am not giving up and I know they will find my babies and husband today... please pray for all of us," she wrote on Monday.
"Billy and kids hold on I love you and we are waiting for you for as long as it takes stay strong honey."
On Tuesday she wrote she had one miracle with her already but she needed more.
"Please just pray like you never have before ..even if you don't believe there is a god.
"I do...I have a miracle 4 year old with me for proof ... now we just need many more prayers for many more miracles today."