SAN BRUNO – A man, his teenage son, and his mother are missing after the San Bruno neighborhood gas explosion, and their friends and family presume they perished in the Sept. 9 explosion and fire.
Authorities have not officially confirmed that Greg Bullis, his teenage son William, and his motherLavonne are dead.
Four other people were confirmed dead in the San Bruno Crestmoor Canyon neighborhood gas line explosion, and 37 homes were destroyed.
Remains found at the scene of the fire are at a lab in Richmond this weekend. Investigators are hoping to determine if the remains are human or animal, and if they are human, if they can be used to identify the missing victims.
The problem lies in the intensive heat of the fire.
If the determination is made that they are human, there is no guarantee they can glean DNA from the remains due to the high heat of the fire. The coroner’s office should know sometime next week.
“It’s possible it wouldn’t because of high heat” from the explosion and fire, Chief Deputy Coroner Jerry Cohn said.
“If you can’t make that kind of determination using DNA,” he said, “there’s not a lot of other options.”
If the coroner’s office is not able to confirm the Bullis family members are dead, the official determination of death “would have to come from a court.”
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 for your prayers, thoughts, and help.”
Gary’s daughter, Megan Bullis, said on her Facebook page Sunday, “Thank you all for your prayers…my family has left this world to a better place. For them this was the worst hell they will ever have to endure…on angels wings they are in heaven. God bless all those who have searched and helped.”
William attended Mills High School in Millbrae. One of his friends, Harley Strazzarino, 17, said a group of friends gathered at a Chilis’ Restaurant in San Bruno this week to remember William.
“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.”
San Bruno police announced last weekend that seven people had died, but the official number dropped down to four victims that they say were 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,” Cohn said Friday.
More people missing, death toll rises after natural gas explosion in California
San Bruno Explosion: More remains found, assessing if human or animal; 6 confirmed missing