Friend of mudslide victim: 'She brought joy into the world'

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- The door says Northwest Smile Design, but inside there are few smiles as employees mourn the death of a beloved friend and co-worker.

Christina Jefferds was killed in the Oso slide along with her 4-month-old granddaughter. Her husband and daughter were out of the house Saturday morning when the hillside gave way.

"I started to get text messages from people who tried to call her and she wasn't responding, then it starts to sink in and you get a pit in your stomach," said her boss, Dr. Kelly Peterson.

He hired Jefferds when he left dental school 22 years ago. She was his office manager. Flowers delivered by patients adorn the reception area of the Marysville dentist office.

"She had no guile, there was no deception in her, her word meant something," said Peterson, who is deeply sadden by the lost of not just a co-worker but a friend.

"We had seen her just the night before when she came to Snohomish to see my son in a performance," he added.

Peterson last heard from Jefferds that night via a text, just hours before the slide hit.

"She said she enjoyed seeing my son and said she had a great time," he said.

Peterson says the loss has hit Jefferds' husband hard. He's a volunteer firefighter in Oso and may have been searching his own neighborhood for his wife and granddaughter. Eventually they were found by someone else.

"She brought joy into the world where ever she was, you could not help but like her and we loved her," Peterson said.