Officials originally pegged the number of missing at eight, but that number increased after authorities searched social media posts and message boards at evacuation shelters. The list has also been updated to exclude those who have been found or are confirmed dead. Among those confirmed dead are four children.
"It’s a constantly moving number," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. He also added that he expects the death toll to rise from the current number of at least 17. The mudslides shut down major roadways including highway 101 and destroyed scores of homes.
Those confirmed dead include Jonathan Benitez, 10; Kailly Benitez, 3; Martin Cabrera-Munoz, 48; David Cantin, 49; Sawyer Corey, 12; Peter Fleurat, 73; Josephine Gower, 69; John McManigal, 61; Alice Mitchell, 78; James Mitchell, 89; Mark Montgomery, 54; Caroline Montgomery, 22; Marilyn Ramos, 27; Rebecca Riskin, 61; Roy Rohter, 84; Peerawat Sutthithepn, 6; and Richard Taylor, 67.