Forest Falls woman found dead after massive mudslide remembered as beloved grandmother

"It's so sad. We pray for them," said a neighbor who lives across the street from where the 62-year-old's body was found.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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"It's so sad. We pray for them," said Skyler Williams, a neighbor who lives across the street from where the 62-year-old's body was found.

FOREST FALLS (KABC) -- One week after a devastating mudslide in the mountain community of Forest Falls, dozens of residents are still cleaning up, and some are mourning the loss of their loved one.

Some homes only sustained minor damage during the powerful thunderstorm last Monday, but many homes are red-tagged, meaning they're unsafe to enter.

Perhaps the worst damage happened on Prospect Drive where 62-year-old Doris Jagiello was killed after being swept away in the mudslide.

Her body was found late last week, buried in several feet of mud.

Her son told Eyewitness News she'll be remembered as a beloved grandmother, an artist, poet and author.

"It's so sad, we pray for them," said Skyler Williams, a neighbor who lives across the street from where Jagiello's body was found.

His home is now red-tagged as well, buried in a 10-foot-high mudslide.

"It just ripped the whole deck off, 90 degrees, and filled the whole garage full of mud," said Williams. "Mud went in through the side, underneath the house, and we have structural damage. So we need a structural engineer come out and see what they say."

The damage is so severe that for many families, the power is still out in parts of Forest Falls.

But while many homes are red-tagged, there are some families who know they are lucky.

"We had a tree that hit in this spot on the corner," said Olin Richey, pointing at his garage where one wall was obliterated by the mudslide. "Had one piece of the tree moved one inch either way, we would have lost the entire structure most likely."

Richey's home is now yellow-tagged, and he hopes to have that status removed by the end of the week. But he says there's no way he could clean up without the help of the community.

"This is all about relationships. The canyon has relationships all up and down it. We're a tight-knit community," said Richey, adding that many of the helpers come from a local real estate business.

"These are people my wife worked with for a long time. They did our loan, and when they found out what happened, they just came up here and helped."