Asher's return to the scene, where murky water was knee-deep, turned up at least one gem: his wife's engagement ring, the only keepsake she wanted him to find.
"We sent out many, many, many alerts", Lewin said.
A 14-year-old girl was trapped for hours in mud-soaked rubble on Hot Springs Road and then pulled to safety in a triumphant moment.
Mud, boulders and other debris that raced down the hills scorched by the Thomas fire not only littered the highway lanes but also blocked drainage channels and filled debris basins, forcing water to continue flowing onto the freeway - the biggest obstacle at Olive Mill Road.
Montecito is best known as a getaway for the rich and famous - the median home price among current listings is more than 4 million dollars (£2.9m) - although there are also working families living in modest houses and apartments.
Brown said some of those on the missing list may simply have left the area before or after the mudslides or may just be out of touch with the family and friends looking for them.
She also assured that she feels "safe" despite the circumstances.
She described her friend as warm and loving and as never speaking negatively about anyone. But she was exhausted, as were many here after the warnings, the evacuations, the close calls and the worry of recent weeks. She moved to Montecito in the early 1990s.
She is survived by her husband, Ken Grand; son Robert (Fernanda) Riskin; daughter, Julia Riskin, and grandson Lucca.
The monsoon-like rain was terrifying enough, but when David Weinert saw the house across the street erupt in flames fueled by a severed gas line he knew it was time to abandon his Montecito home.
The luxury real estate agency called her loss "incredibly devastating" and said Riskin was an exceptional woman. They ranged in age from 3 to 89 years old.
On Thursday, Santa Barbara sheriff Bill Brown said of the missing, "We are certainly searching for a miracle right now".
Mud, rocks and other debris that's being removed is being dumped on Goleta Beach, at the end of Ash Avenue, in the Foothill landfill, at Caltrans sites and several other locations outside the county, Fayram said.
A member of the Long Beach Search and Rescue team looks for survivors in a vehicle in Montecito.
"You're walking around in waist-deep soup", he said of the grueling undertaking. The natural disaster was caused by heavy rainfall on Monday and Tuesday in areas exposed by the big fire in California last month.
McDonald was still at home in her retirement community of Casa Dorinda on Thursday, adding there was no point in leaving now because she needs oxygen that is hard to transport to a hotel.
Hello, my name is John Witiw, and you may remember me as a writer for Viral Pirate, Frontrunner Magazine, or even NTD Television, but now I'm here.
Another emergency management official told the Los Angeles Times that county officials decided not to use the its push alert system to cellphones earlier out of concern that it might not be taken seriously.
However, with most utilities about to be cut off and sewage running into the nearby creek, she made a decision to heed the order to leave.