Rescuers today found the body of 4-month-old Sanoah Huestis about 10 feet from where the body of her grandmother, Christina Jefferds, was found earlier this week following the mudslide near Oso, said Natasha Huestis, mother of Sanoah and daughter of Jefferds.
Natasha and Sanoah Huestis lived with Christina and her husband, Seth Jefferds in their house on Steelhead Drive. On the day of the mudslide, Christina Jefferds was caring for Sanoah while both Natasha Huestis and Seth Jefferds were away from the home.
Seth Jefferds, a volunteer firefighter, came home to find the house flattened and his wife and Sanoah missing, his brother-in-law, Dale Petersen, said last weekend.
Sanoah had an ability to smile all the time, Huestis said today.
“She could just light up a room. We wouldn’t be able to walk down a grocery store aisle without someone saying how beautiful she was,” said Huestis. “Everybody in the family was so excited to have her be part of their lives. And everybody wanted to show her so many things as she grew up.”
Peter Jefferds, Seth Jefferds’ father, said earlier this week that Sanoah was “a little girl who captured your heart.”
Huestis, 26, said she’s drawing strength from the example her mother had set and from the kindness of people in the community.
“Right now, I know she’s watching me. And she’d want me to be strong and she’d want me to be the rock,” Huestis said.
An orthodontist that has cared for Huestis for years asked her this week what she needed.
“I said: ‘My dad and I need new pairs of shoes,'” Huestis said. “I went there today and we both had new pairs of shoes.”
“Something that is important to my father and I is telling people how thankful we are for their help,” she said.
Donations are being accepted at any Key Bank location for the Huestis-Jefferds Family Relief Fund.
(Information from Seattle Times reporter Nancy Bartley was used in this report.)