Two bodies found in Border Fire burn area

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 22:41:50-04

SAN DIEGO - Two bodies were discovered Wednesday in a burned out region of the Border Fire in the rural southeast San Diego community of Potrero.

Neighbors initially told 10News they located the bodies Wednesday morning in an area near a property belonging to a local couple reported missing. The couple reported missing were identified as Jim Keefe and his girlfriend Kyrie, whose last name was not given.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies, along with the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, confirmed the discovery early Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities did not identify the deceased or provide a possible cause of death.

Volunteer searcher Stephenie Rivenburgh found the two bodies and told 10News, "It was heart-wrenching. I haven't processed it yet. I'm gonna go home and cry my eyes out. I cried a little bit with the girls and honestly the image is burned in my retina and I don't think I'll ever get rid of that."

On Tuesday, residents showed 10News Jim Keefe’s green van. They said it had not moved from the burned property since the Border Fire began on June 19.

The Border Fire blackened over 7,600 acres and destroyed five homes and six outbuildings.

"The fact that it's going on day nine and nobody's heard from him is something to be concerned about," resident Leann Mitsui told 10News Tuesday.

Several of the Keefes' dogs were rescued this week. Mitsui and another neighbor said the hillside behind Keefes’ property has several small caves. They feared the Keefes may have hidden in one of them and died.

Mitsui told 10News Tuesday they were upset that the sheriff's department was not doing enough to locate the Keefes.

"I'm extremely upset, there's a lot of people that are upset," said Mitsui. "There's supposed to be an active search for Jim at this point and there's not a single person here right now."

Mitsui said a dog nicknamed "Little Joe" and other dogs rescued from the property are recovering at the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services center in Bonita.