Camp Fire death toll drops to 85
Officials in Butte County delivered a double dose of good news on Camp Fire recovery at a Monday press conference: The number of both the missing and the dead has decreased.
The number of the missing dropped to 11 people, while the death toll was revised from 88 to 85.
How? Investigators determined that human remains collected in three separate bags, all given their own case number, belonged to the same person.
“Through the process that has taken place at the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office and the autopsy, DNA has now confirmed that the remains in those separate bags were, in fact, one individual in three instances,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea explained.
The Sheriff’s Office has tentatively identified 38 individuals based on circumstantial evidence. Another 43 have been positively identified by using DNA in 31 cases, dental records in 12 and fingerprints in four. Investigators visually identified two victims.
Officials have not been able to give tentative identification for three human remains, Honea said. Officials have notified the next of kin for 43 cases.
Firefighters contained the Camp Fire on Nov. 25, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. It burned 153,336 acres and destroyed nearly 14,000 residences.
Very little of Paradise, Calif. is recognizable.