Second body recovered from Sitka landslide

Search crews recovered a second body from the Kramer Avenue landslide in Sitka, around 12:40 p.m. Thursday. The discovery was made near the location of the first body, which was found Wednesday evening.

Officials are not releasing the names of the victims as requested by the family. One man remains missing; search dogs have alerted to a third location on the south side of the slide where searchers will focus ongoing efforts.

Sitka Fire Chief Dave Miller reports that a team of cadaver dogs from Juneau led searchers to a sweatshirt on the west side of the slide, and subsequently to the body. Miller would not confirm the identity except to say, “It’s one of the boys.”

Elmer Diaz, 26 and his brother Ulises, 25, were working in one of the new homes under construction in the subdivision just off Kramer Avenue. The structure was completely obliterated by the landslide which struck Tuesday morning. The Diaz family has maintained a vigil at Grace Harbor Church since the event.

Still missing are the other Diaz brother, and William Stortz, 62, Sitka’s building official, who was inspecting drainage in the subdivision when the slide occurred.

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