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Local News

Names, Photos Released of 7 People Still Missing in Montecito Floods

Faviola Benitez Calderon Click to view larger
Faviola Benitez Calderon

The names and photos of seven people still missing after the flash flooding in Montecito were released Friday afternoon by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Most of the names had been circulating on social media since a powerful downpour over the Thomas Fire burn area early Tuesday unleashed widespread flooding in Montecito.

The missing were identified as:

» Faviola Benitez Calderon, 28.

» John “Jack” Cantin, 17.

» Morgan Christine Corey, 25.

» John “Jack” Keating, 53, a transient who often frequents the Montecito Creek area.

» Lydia Sutthithepa, 2

» Pinit Sutthithepa, 30.

» Delbert Weltzin, 62, a transient who often frequents the railroad tracks near Olive Mill Road.

Morgan Corey Click to view larger
Morgan Corey
John “Jack” Cantin Click to view larger
John “Jack” Cantin

The public is asked to report any information they may have on the whereabouts of the above missing persons, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

“The community is also reminded to report all missing persons to the Emergency Operations Center at 805.681.5542,” she said, “and please be prepared to provide as much detail as possible to the call takers.”

Demonstrating the fluid nature of the missing-persons list, Sheriff Bill Brown announced that a viewer of the televised press conference had contacted authorities to report that John Keating had been hospitalized out of the area after being injured during the incident.

Lydia Sutthithepa
Lydia Sutthithepa
Pinit Sutthithepa
Pinit Sutthithepa

However, a short time later, Brown advised Noozhawk that there are actually two John Keatings, the injured man and the man who is still missing.

The release of the the list coincided with the announcement that an 18th person had been found dead.

Joseph Francis Bleckel, 87, of Montecito was found deceased in his home in the Romero Canyon area at about 11:30 a.m. Friday by a search and rescue team, Brown said.

John “Jack” Keating Click to view larger
John “Jack” Keating
Delbert Weltzin Click to view larger
Delbert Weltzin

Bleckel previously had been listed as missing.

Search and rescue teams are continuing to comb the disaster areas looking for additional victims, according to Jeff Ohs, operatons chief for the Incident Command Team.

Crews, aided by 29 search dogs, have completed primary searches of all residents, and have moved on to more-thorough secondary searches, Ohs said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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