A father's desperate search for his young son in the aftermath of the Washington State mudslide has come to a heartbreaking end.
Authorities have confirmed that the teen son of a Fort Carson soldier is among the victims of the March 22 Washington state mudslide, bringing the death toll up to 30. Jojo's body was found April 2. The Snohomish County medical examiner's office confirmed that Jovon "Jojo" Mangual, 13, died of multiple blunt force injuries in the accident.
Mangual's father Jose had been searching tirelessly for Jojo since he arrived in Washington Monday. Fort Carson had allowed Jose to go on leave for an undetermined amount of time to search for his son.
Jose said he spent 12 hours at the site of the mudslide on the day he arrived, working along search parties sifting through a toxic mix of of sludge, household chemicals, sewage and fuel oil. He remained hopeful until the end that he'd find his son alive.
A memorial fund is being set up to help the Mangual family. The "Hope For Jovan Mangual" fund is also trying to create a memorial for Jojo:
"Jose is a cyclist and JoJo had a hand in the making of a bicycle for his dad brought to life by a cycle enthusiast who met Jose in Washington. The bike would bear JoJo's signature and memory. " -From the Hope For Jovan Mangual page. For more information on the memorial fund click here.
Jojo's has left a legacy among his family as a "great kid" who was always happy.
The number of missing - which had stood at 18 Wednesday - is now at 15, according to operations manager Heather Oie, who couldn't explain why the tally differs.
The office has released 27 names and is still trying to identify three victims.
Recovery crews are still searching for more bodies in the landslide that crushed the community of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.