Local News

Medical Lake native loses daughter in Moore tornado

Fundraisers Friday to support Medical Lake native Kristi Strickland-Conatzer, who lost home in Moore to tornado

MOORE, Okla. - Medical Lake resident Dan Strickland is in Moore, Okla. helping his sister pick up the pieces after losing her daughter, who was killed when the tornado hit Plaza Towers Elementary earlier this week.

When he arrived in Moore to help his sister, Kristi Strickland-Conatzer, and her family recover from the tornado, nothing could've prepared him for the devastation.

"It's one of the saddest things I've ever seen," he said.

He has yet to visit Plaza Towers Elementary School where his niece, Emily Conatzer, died Monday.

"It's overwhelming; I don't even know how to explain it," he said.

Family loses daughter in Moore tornado

Strickland said Emily died along side her two best friends. The third graders were found together, holding on to each other as they had been when the tornado ripped the school apart around them.

"She was a beautiful little soul and like I said we come from a close knight family, my sister's kid, I don't have any kids, like my own kids," he said.

Emily's sister Luci was in another part of the school when the tornado hit and survived.

The family's home, like Emily, was taken away Monday too. Strickland said they now rely on the prayers and support from Medical Lake to Moore to get them through.

"It's been … I can't even describe. It's just been huge," he said.

Emily's funeral is set for Saturday.

Two fundraisers have been planned here in Spokane and Medical Lake on Friday to help Emily's family.

A spaghetti feed will be held on Friday beginning at noon at Picnic Pines, located at 9212 S Silver Lake Road in Medical Lake. Then, at 9 p.m. VIBE will be playing a concert at nYne Bar and Bistro at 232 West Sprague Avenue.

They will be accepting monetary donations and gift cards which will be sent down to help Dan and his sister put her family's life back together.