NBC4 has learned more information about a San Bernardino County woman who was killed in last week’s mudslides.
The 62-year-old grandmother was found buried in mud near her home in the mountain community of Forest Falls.
A family spokesperson spoke to NBC4’s Tony Shin for an exclusive story.
A video shows the moment when Briel Fleischmann saw the huge mudslide crossing Prospect Drive in Forest Falls.
The home belongs to the Jagiello family. Fleischmann immediately sent a text to her close friend Doris, a 62-year-old woman who lives with her son, daughter-in-law, and their two children.
Doris never answers Fleischmann’s text.
“She was very loving, very caring, and she always did everything for everyone in the family community,” Fleischmann said.
Fleischmann says Doris was inside her bottom floor room when the mudslide struck the home.
Rescue teams immediately began searching for Doris, hoping this talented artist and author would still be alive.
“Anytime she wrote a book or she sold a piece of artwork from her gallery in Mexico she always donated it to all the orphanages,” Fleischmann said.
As rescuers dug through the 12-foot-high mud, resident Joie Rushing took photographs documenting the search while hoping Doris was still somehow alive.
“In my mind I was thinking she is going to be in a pocket of air under a dresser,” Rushing said. “I was hoping for a moment where everyone would be cheering because they found her.”
After three days of searching, the hope took a grim turn when rescuers finally found Doris’ body.
“To lose somebody like that, somebody who is an artist, somebody who is writing books, and reaching out helping children and good friends with people in this whole town,” Rushing said.
Friends have created a GoFundMe to help Doris’ family because they lost everything in the mudslide.
Fleischmann is hoping people will be as generous to the family, as Doris was to everyone she met.
“They lost their mother, they lost their homes, and they lost their vehicles,” Fleischmann said. “They’re basically rebuilding from scratch.”
Source: NBC Los Angeles