ARLINGTON, Wash. – Authorities on Friday kept the official death toll from the Washington mudslide at 17, even though they have acknowledged a total of at least 25 bodies have been located. Here is a breakdown on how they are counting the victims:
— The death toll of 17 comprises the remains that have been recovered at the scene and turned over to the Snohomish County medical examiner.
— The medical examiner's office had publicly identified five of those fatalities as of Friday.
— Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots previously said searchers located the remains of at least eight other people, but they had not been recovered from the debris.
— Reports of additional remains found have trickled in from families and searchers, but authorities are counting in the death toll only those that come from the medical examiner's office.
— The medical examiner's office was expected to update the toll by Friday evening.