Staff Sergeant Jose Mangual searches tirelessly for his son, JoJo, whose body is somewhere under the mud and debris at the site of Washington’s deadly landslide. 29 people have been confirmed dead and 20 people are still missing — including 13-year-old JoJo.
Jo Jo was at home with his stepfather, Bill Spillers, and his 3 siblings when the landslide hit on March 22.
His mother was out shopping and survived.
The body of JoJo’s 5-year-old stepsister, Kaylee, was recovered. His two-year-old stepsister, Brooke, and his stepdad are still missing.
“I want to be there, I want to be find my son. I wouldn’t do it any other way,” Jose Mangual told CNN. “Of the five deployments I’ve been on, nothing compares to this,” he said of the mud that is 70 feet deep in some places.
Jo Jo’s 4-year-old stepbrother Jacob was rescued by a chopper crew the next day. The rescue was captured on video and repeatedly aired on news stations across the country.
“I have no bad feelings just because [Jacob] got to get rescued and my son’s still missing. Nothing at all, I’m happy that he’s back with his mom,” Mangual said.
Mangual spent time with Jacob over the past week. He said the little boy is too young to understand what happened.
“He’s too young, he doesn’t understand. I just hope in the future he’s able to overcome, because this is a lot to take.”
Mungual said he will keep showing up at the search site daily until his son is found.
“It hasn’t been easy, but I just have my faith in God, and keep on pushing, pressing on. I still got faith, so I know I’m going to find him, and that’s pretty much all I’m focusing on.”