Family says high school sweethearts stayed together, died together

by: Natasha Chen Updated:


EDMONDS, Wash. - The family of Steve Harris and Theresa Harris have been waiting five days, as rescue crews continue to find other people in the mud. 

The family has not yet been notified whether Steve and Theresa Harris have been found.

Mark Christoph, Theresa Harris’ brother, said they are always hopeful. "But I know realistically that may not be the case. So that’s what we’re preparing for. After so many days, we just have to face the facts.” 

Christoph flew to the Seattle area from Texas, where Steve Harris and Theresa Harris first met in high school. 

“They fell in love immediately and stayed together all these years. And now they’re together. They died together,” he said. 

Steve Harris was a marine engineer, and Theresa Harris was a retired nurse. 

Their daughters will now have to move out of their other home in Edmonds. One of their daughters, Laura Harris, said it’s hard to sleep at night, surrounded by her parents’ belongings. 

Harris said they spoke just one hour before the mudslide hit Saturday morning. 

“They were out there on the porch, talking about how beautiful a day it was. And they were encouraging us to come down there and be with them,” Harris said. 

Now Laura Harris just hopes they did not suffer long. She said she wouldn’t want them to be cold, buried in the mud, crying for help. 

She would rather remember them as the adventurous, loving parents who took her on trips to Mexico and Costa Rica. 

“I would just hold them and tell them I love them, and I’d give anything to just laugh with them one more time,” Laura Harris said.