SAN BRUNO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Residents try to assess the damage after an explosion September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. Thirty eight homes were destroyed and four people were killed when a Pacific Gas and Electric gas main blew up in a San Bruno, California neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport on Thursday evening. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)
Three members of a San Bruno family are being mourned by relatives
and friends who say they perished in the Sept. 9 explosion and fire, but
authorities are still not officially confirming they are dead.
Greg Bullis, his teenage son William and his mother Lavonne are
presumed by loved ones to have died in the disaster in San Bruno's Crestmoor
Canyon neighborhood that left at least four other people dead and destroyed
Gary Bullis, the brother of Greg and son of Lavonne, posted on his
Facebook page last weekend, "All dead have been identified, anyone else
missing are presumed dead. Mom, Greg and Willie have not been found. Thank
you all for your prayers, thoughts, and help."
Harley Strazzarino, 17, a friend of William's from Mills High
School in Millbrae, which William attended, said a group of friends gathered
this week at a Chili's restaurant in San Bruno to remember him.
"It was good just to get together to talk about him," Strazzarino
said. "We're all pretty sad."
He said, "I think we all think they've passed on."
However, the San Mateo County coroner's office has not yet
officially confirmed that the three members of the Bullis family died in the
San Bruno police announced last weekend that seven people have
died, but the official number has since dropped back to the four victims
identified by the coroner's office: Jacqueline Greig, 44, her 13-year-old
daughter Janessa, Jessica Morales, 20, and 81-year-old Elizabeth Torres.
"The official position we have is that there's still four
confirmed and identified," Chief Deputy Coroner Jerry Cohn said Friday.
Cohn said there were remains found at the site of the explosion
that are at a lab in Richmond this weekend. Investigators are hoping to
determine if the remains are from a human or animal, and if they are human,
if they can be used to identify the victims.
The coroner's office will not know until at least Monday if the
lab will even be able to glean DNA from the remains.
"It's possible it wouldn't because of high heat" from the
explosion and fire, Cohn said.
"If you can't make that kind of determination using DNA, there's
not a lot of other options," he said.
Cohn said if the coroner's office is unable to officially confirm
the Bullis family members are dead, the official determination of death
"would have to come from a court."