PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — A body was found Tuesday inside a minivan buried under 6 feet of debris left from last week's mudslide in Palmdale.
Maintenance workers were using a backhoe to clear out the mud and debris in the 41800 block of Karen Drive when they discovered the vehicle about 12:50 p.m.
It took crews about 11 hours to lift the minivan up from the ground.
Last Thursday's downpour sent a cascade of mud down a mountain in the area. Stacey Horwood, who was also caught up in the storm, said she was behind the minivan that vanished. She said she reported seeing the Chevy Venture being swept away.
Horwood said: "After, it kind of cleared. We kept saying that there was another vehicle that went down that went inside the ground."
But emergency crews could not find the vehicle. Firefighters said it was difficult for them to search for the vehicle on the day of the mudslide because the ground was unstable.
A homeowner who lives above the catch basin insisted someone was missing.
"She said an SUV had turned over and gone down behind her house; she was complaining about it for days. But the rescue workers told her the person had been saved," neighbor Paul Mathews, said.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, the man buried alive was in his late 40s. His identity has not been released. No missing persons report was filed, deputies said.
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