Electronic Musician, UC Merced Student Identified as Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims

An electronic musician and a health psychology student are the latest Oakland warehouse fire victims to be identified by the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau.

On Thursday, officials said Joseph Matlock and Jennifer Mendiola were among the 36 people who perished in a three-alarm fire that broke out during a Friday night party at the East Oakland warehouse dubbed the "Ghost Ship." The families of all the victims have been notified of their deaths, officials said.

Markus Schulz brought flowers to the site where his friend and fellow artist Jonathan Bernbaum also was among the victims. Although the county coroner has not officially released his name as a victim, Bernbaum's family has confirmed he was at the party, and his school, USC, already has held a vigil in his honor.

It has been nearly a week since the deadly fire took 36 lives inside an Oakland warehouse. All 36 victims have been identified, and as the grieving intensifies, the investigation into how this all happened is just getting started. Jodi Hernandez reports.

Schulz said Bernbaum was well known in the music scene for creating visual backdrops for musicians at some of the biggest venues in the country. "He was a one-of-a-kind talent," Schulz said.

Matlock, a 36-year-old Oakland resident, also goes by the stage name Joey Casio. He was part of the lineup and scheduled to play at Friday's Golden Donna 100% Silk event. 

The Willamette Week said Matlock previously lived in Portland, Oregon and Olympia, Wash. Friends and fans flocked to social media to honor Matlock.

Laurel Smith wrote on Facebook that she was "beaming love out toward all the tender souls taken by the #oaklandfire. we needed those people. here's to the graceful genius #joeycasio who performed so generously over the years and had kindness for everyone."

Calvin Johnson, the owner of Olympia-based K Records, sold a compilation of of singles Matlock recorded for the label's International Pop Underground series to help raise money for the Ghostship Fire Relief Fund. The label's website indicates that Matlock's collection is sold out, but Johnson directed them to the Gray Area Foundation's fundraiser. As of Thursday afternoon, 9,758 donors have helped raise $542,610 of a $750,000 goal. 

Mendiola, 35, also of Oakland, was a doctoral student at UC Merced. 

Her family told NBC Bay Area: "Our beautiful Jennifer has been identified. She died without suffering. She was unconscious in 15 minutes and was not touched by the fire. She died of smoke inhalation."

In a statement about the Sacramento woman's death, the university's Chancellor Dorothy Leland wrote, "Colleagues have described Jennifer as a passionate and determined scientist, with an inquisitive mind and a collaborative spirit."

Leland said that Mendiola was a fifth-year graduate student in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. She was "studying factors that influence risk behaviors and poor health, including one’s close relationships and emotional experiences," according to Leland.

The university is slated to hold a moment of silence for Mendiola at 12 p.m. on Dec. 12 by an oak tree in front of the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library.

Meanwhile, investigators are still searching through what's left of the building that housed a collective of artists called Satya Yuga. ATF officials said they have called in a special forensic mapping team to help out in the investigation.

With Thursday's update, 31 of the 36 victims have been identified. 

The victims include:

  • Donna Kellogg, 32, of Oakland
  • Cash Askew, 22, of Oakland
  • David Cline, 35, of Oakland
  • Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, of Coronado
  • Sara Hoda, 30, of Walnut Creek
  • Travis Hough, 35, of Oakland
  • Brandon Chase Wittenauer, 32, of Hayward
  • Draven McGill, 17, of San Francisco
  • Em Bohlka, 33, of Oakland
  • Micah Danemayer, 28, of Oakland
  • Chelsea Dolan, 33, of San Francisco
  • Feral Pines, 29, of Berkeley
  • Alex Ghassan, 35, of Oakland
  • Michela Gregory, 20, of South San Francisco
  • Alex Vega, 22, of San Bruno
  • Edmond Lapine, 34, of Oakland
  • Jennifer Morris, 21, of Foster City
  • Benjamin Runnels, 32, of Oakland
  • Jennifer Kiyomi Tanouye, 31, of Oakland
  • Wolfgang Renner, 61, of Oakland
  • Jason McCarty, 35, of Oakland
  • Billy Dixon, 35, of Oakland
  • Johnny Igaz, 34, of Oakland
  • Ara Jo, 29, of Oakland
  • Amanda Kershaw, 34, of San Francisco
  • Griffin Madden, 23, of Berkeley
  • Vanessa Plotkin, 21, of Lakewood
  • Hanna Ruax, 32, of Helsinki, Finland
  • Nicole Siegrist, 29, of Oakland
  • Jennifer Mendiola, 35, of Oakland
  • Joseph Matlock, 36, of Oakland

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