Chapter Closes For Guatemelan Families Killed In Flood Waters

Posted on: 11:15 pm, June 9, 2013, by


OKLAHOMA CITY — A tragic chapter has finally closed for several Guatemalan families in Oklahoma City. Seven people from the Cifuentes and Santos families, three adults and four children, were swept away in the flood waters after the tornado roared through our area back on May 31st.

All the bodies, except for Yolanda Santos, had been found. But Sunday morning around 10:30, fire search crews located her body behind a fence at 3601 Venice Boulevard, near N.W. 36th and May.

Crews had been searching much farther downstream, but Deputy Chief, Marc Woodard, says since her body hadn’t turned up anywhere else; they decided to take a shot in the dark and back track a little.

They found her actually embedded in the ground above the creek that feeds into the Deep Fork River; near the height the waters had risen to the night of May 31st.

Dr. Claudia Rossavik is the family doctor and has assisted the families in finding housing. She says they were all in a meeting Sunday morning at her clinic when the family received the news that Santos’ body had been found.

“It was incredible, the relief that we all had in that room. And then everybody stood up and prayed you know, clapping for this because this, this closes the chapter for the family that started – where is the mother?” said Dr. Rossavik.

All three of Santos’ children had been found. There had even been a funeral on Saturday for them and the three members of the Cifuentes family that died with them.

“We did not have Yolanda and we did the funeral service yesterday hoping that we find Yolanda sooner than later,” said Dr. Rossavik.

Dr. Rossavik says Santos moved to Oklahoma City about a year and a half ago from Arizona and was building a successful life, working at a nursing home in Bethany.

She says the Guatemalan consulate told the families all the bodies would be returned to Guatemala, their home country.

“He assured that everyone would be repatriated at the cost of the Guatemalan government and once they arrived there, the Guatemalan government would be receiving them at the airport,” said Dr. Rossavik.

The Guatemalan culture is a very family-based society and returning loved ones is very important to that small Central American country.

Below are some photos viewers sent in on the storms that hit the area on May 31st.

Photo Gallery Expand 1 of 100
  • View from Airport Terminal

  • Thunder head heading east in Greer Co.

  • From the corner of sw89th & Sara Road in Mustang, OK

  • Mustang, OK

  • before the storm hit Moore 5/31/13

  • The hail was fast approaching Moore,5/31/13 Taken by Terri Schofield

  • This was taken a few miles before we made it to Purcell,but it didnt take long for the storms to keep coming our way as the Tornado Sirens sounded off after being there for about 10 minutes. Picture taken by Terri Schofield

  • Enid- Megan Wolever

  • Hail- Stevi Robison

  • Purcell- Tyler William

  • Downtown- Carly Murray

  • Choctaw- Darren Heins

  • Kristy Godwin

  • Tim Troxell

  • Troy Hatfield

  • Chickasha

  • Purcell sky- Tyler William

  • Angie Debo Elementary- Daniel Duncan

  • South of Moore- Morgan Bunch

  • Chickasha- Erica Wenzel

  • Riley Twiehaus

  • Enid-unnamed

  • Unnamed

  • Hail in Tonkawa- Joshua

  • Carmen- Sharee' Madsen

  • Downtown flooding - Russell Goodin

  • Washout Lisa M Williams

  • Washout Lisa M Williams

  • Courtesy: Lisa Dudzinski

  • Courtesy: Denise Kimball in the Paseo

  • Near 36th and Shartel

  • Mother and baby killed when tornado blew their SUV off the highway near Mustang. - Lance West May 31

  • El Reno tornado overturned numerous semis. - Lance West May 31

  • South Moore power poles down - Lance West May 31

  • El Reno tornado - Reed Timmer May 31

  • Courtesy: Shortyninja

  • Courtesy: Cassidy Rice

  • Courtesy: Cindy Burgess NW 122nd & Council

  • Norman

  • Courtesy: Ginger Magill

  • Courtesy: Cody Baker

  • Courtesy: Cody Baker

  • Courtesy: Alyssa Gore

  • Courtesy: Alyssa Gore

  • Courtesy: Jana Ray

  • Courtesy: Darrick Goforth

  • Courtesy: Kenneth Parks

  • Courtesy: Brooke Brown

  • Courtesy: Christi Owen

  • Courtesy: Kenneth Parks

  • Courtesy: Michelle Morkrid

  • Courtesy: Porter Jordan

  • Hail in El Reno 5/31/13

  • stonebrook-apts-at-britton-and-macarthur-may-31st-annejan64

  • may-31st-jana-ray

  • near-alex-oklahoma-may-31st-chris-mulvaney

  • baseball-sized-hail-christi-owen-may-31st

  • panel-through-shed-may-20th-hearl-carter-iii

  • beautiful-double-rainbow-may30th-lora-fitzgerald

  • sunset-may-31st-casey-carter

  • Not my pic. It was just posted on Facebook.

  • Courtesy: Annejan64

  • Courtesy: Bryan

  • Courtesy: Erin near Union City

  • Courtesy: Justin Skalla

  • Courtesy: Ralph Davis near Ren & Rockwell

  • Courtesy: Sandy Price in North Norman

  • Courtesy: Tameia Higgins

  • Courtesy: Tracy at SW52 & Independence

  • Courtesy: Trina

  • OKC Mesta Park flooding - Victoria Stahl

  • Courtesy: Agsokc near NW 50th & Western

  • Courtesy: Andrew Cruz in Bethany

  • Courtesy: Brittany Callison in Paseo District

  • Courtesy: Carly Murray on Reno

  • Courtesy: Cornfedokie

  • Courtesy: Curtis Liles in Downtown OKC

  • Courtesy: Eric Radford near Devon

  • Courtesy: Kevin & DeLeah Poe in Stillwater

  • Courtesy: Vella in Silver Lake

  • We kept trying to drive away from the storm heading south and it just kept shifting towards us. We tried heading towards the light and the car got engulfed in darkness. Not sure where this is. Somewhere past draper headed towards norman (i think)

  • Taken from Sooner road heading towards Moore. Camera pointed in direction of Moore

  • this is the original pic of the heart cloud

  • Taken at 9:26 P.M. May 31 2013 facing south looking down Billen ST

  • Taken at 8:43 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird.

  • Hail on the ground, east side of house. Taken at 8:43 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird.

  • 5/31/13 NW 164th and Penn Andrea Williams

  • Lightning in the sky Friday night about 10 pm. Taken from NW OKC.

  • picture of the storm from sooner road about to cross I-240 pointed towards the crossroads mall are.

  • Dark and looming clouds before the tornado touched down in Norman

  • Taken at 6:25 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird

  • Taken at 6:25 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird

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