Chartiers-Houston high school grad among missing in landslide in Washington state



A Navy chief petty officer and 2001 graduate of Chartiers-Houston Junior/Senior High, along with three of his children, are among the missing after a massive landslide Saturday, near Oso, Wash., the Navy confirmed.

Billy Spillers, a Navy career counselor assigned to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility detachment in Everett, Wash., and his children are "currently listed as unaccounted for in the wake of the tragic mudslide," a Naval spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail.

The landslide, which crushed a rural neighborhood about 64 miles north of Seattle under a square mile of mud, rocks and debris, was blamed on heavy rainfall. At least eight people are dead and as many as 108 unaccounted for, although officials have said that number includes many people who were in the area at the time and that the actual number of the missing will be lower.

Officials in Snohomish County said concerns about another slide resulted in some rescue crews being pulled back today so geologists can assess the risk.

However, at least 100 rescue crew are on the ground looking for additional victims, as well as search dogs, hovercraft and helicopters.

Chief Petty Officer Spillers' relatives and friends could not immediately be reached, but social media posts from his wife, Jonielle Spillers, who was not home when the landslide hit, indicate the family lived on Steelhead Drive, near the center of the area devastated by the slide.

"I am not giving up and I know they will find my babies and husband today," Ms. Spillers posted on Facebook. "Please pray for all of us. This has affected so many great people I know. Steelhead Drive family, they are coming for you today. Hold guys, someone will find you ... Billy and kids hold on, I love you and we are waiting for you for as long as it takes. Stay strong honey."

Chief Petty Officer Spillers was an all-conference defensive end for the Buccaneers in his senior year and also played basketball, said Philip Mary, the school's principal.

A donation site for the family has been set up at :

https://www.youcaring.com/other/donations-for-jonielle-spiller-washington-mudslide-victim/154106

Robert Zullo: rzullo@post-gazette


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