Searchers find body of city official who died in landslide

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 25, 2015 at 8:32 p.m.

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SITKA, Alaska (AP) — Searchers on Tuesday found the body of a city building official who went missing in a landslide.

The body of 62-year-old William Stortz, a building official for Sitka, was found at 4:15 p.m. Alaska time Tuesday on the south side of the landslide, the city announced in a news release.

Stortz was working near newly built homes Aug. 18 when logs, mud and debris slid down a hillside into the neighborhood.

The slide came after 2.5 inches of rain fell in 24 hours.

Brothers Elmer and Ulises Diaz were painting a new house and were killed. The bodies of Elmer, 26, and Ulises Diaz, 25, were found in the debris of logs and muck last week.

In a statement Tuesday, Sitka Mayor Mim McConnell praised Stortz and the Diaz brothers.

"William was hard working, intelligent, and a very kind man. Our family knew him and he was well respected throughout Sitka," McConnell said. "William and the Diaz brothers will be missed. One day the landslides will be cleaned up, but Sitka will never be the same."

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