Remembering a Loved One

<p>Summer Raffo</p>

Summer Raffo

Aaron Briet reflects on the life of his cousin with his sister, Lorinda Smith.

"She loved horses, she worked with horses all the time," said Briet.

Briet, an Ellensburg resident, recently returned from Snohomish County, where he and his family spent days wading through piles of mud and debris, searching for his cousin, 36 year old Summer Raffo.

"I kept imagining if my sister was in there; how hard I would have to dig, to never give up," said Briet.

It took Briet and his relatives 5 days before they found Raffo's body buried inside her blue Subaru, under nearly 10 feet of mud.

Raffo is one of two dozen people who died in the massive mudslide that hit on March 22nd-- relatives say she was running errands, most likely related to horses, her favorite pasttime.

Raffo's family says she was close to her entire family, her relationship with her mother unbreakable, and her smile unforgettable.

"I'm starting to feel the after effects," said Briet, "I thought I was okay with everything."

While Briet returns home to comfort his family during this time of loss -- he says some relatives chose to stay in Snohomish County, hoping to bring relief to others like them.

"Even after they found Summer, they're still digging out people, so other people can have that closure that my family gets to have," said Briet.