2 more bodies found in Valley Fire, death toll at 3

Sep 17, 2015 12:11 PM by News Staff

Authorities say two more bodies have been found in homes burned by the Valley Fire, bringing the death toll from the blaze to three.

The Lake County Sheriff's office says official identifications have yet to be made, but they are presumed to be the bodies of Bruce Beven Burns and former San Jose Mercury News police reporter, Leonard Neft.

Neft last spoke with his family Saturday evening.

Authorities earlier found his burned-out car on the route he would have used to escape.

Authorities on Sunday found the body of 72-year-old Barbara McWilliams in her burned-out home near Middletown.

About 170 miles southeast, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Calaveras County coroner Kevin Raggio said two bodies were found inside burned-out homes in the Butte Fire. One of the victims was identified as 65-year-old Mark McCloud.

7:10 a.m.

Crews are looking for at least four people reported missing in a Northern California wildfire that has been burning since Saturday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Thursday that the death toll could rise in the 115-square-mile Lake County fire that left a disabled woman dead. In a separate fire, about 170 miles southeast authorities say two bodies were found inside burned-out homes.

Among those unaccounted for in the Lake County fire is 69-year-old Leonard Neft, a former reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, whose home and car were destroyed.

KRON reports Thursday that another man, Edwin Null is also missing.

Authorities confirmed family members of two other people have filed missing-person reports, but did not identify them. The missing have not been heard from since the fire started.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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