The daughter left behind when her parents and brother were swept out to sea while trying to save their pet dog is "devastated," according to one relative.
Olivia Kuljian, 18, watched from the northern California beach Saturday as her brother, 16-year-old Gregory Kuljian, went into the rough surf after their dog was swept away by a 10-foot-wave. The Kuljian's parents then went in after Gregory, and all three were pulled out into the ocean by the rough surf.
"She is doing the best she can under the circumstances, but obviously she is devastated," David Scott, Olivia's uncle, told ABC News today. "To wake up and not have a family anymore, it's just devastating. I can't explain it. I hope no one else ever has to go through this."
The bodies of the girl's parents were found hours later on the beach. A search for Gregory was called off Sunday and his body has not been found.
David Scott, who lives in Florida, said that the family is waiting until the body of Gregory is recovered to make funeral arrangements. The family's friends in Humboldt County, Calif., have rallied around Olivia and the extended family, he said.
Forrest Lewis/Arcata High School Pepperbox/AP Photo
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"She and her mother and the whole family were loved by the community, and I feel very good in my heart that they'll take care of Olivia the best they can," he said. "It's very traumatic, of course, and I'm very thankful for the friends that have been very supportive. We've gotten hundreds of comments and prayers."
The dog was playing fetch with a stick on the steep beach when the 10-foot-swell came in, according to Coast Guard Lt. Bernie Garrigan.
"The beach is incredibly steep, and we had 10 foot swells... come through there Saturday, and it is really really steep, so the 10 foot waves smashes directly on the beach. They were throwing a stick for the dog, and the dog ran too close to the water and got pulled in," Garrigan said.
Gregory ran toward the water but was also pulled in. Howard Kuljian, 54, and his wife, Mary Scott, 57, then went to try and rescue their son.
Olivia and Gregory's girlfriend, whose name has not been released, remained on the beach while a witness called 911, according to the Associated Press.
Coast Guard life boats and a helicopter rushed to the scene, but officials were not able to rescue any of the family members. The search for Gregory Kuljian, known as Geddie, was called off Sunday night due to cold, windy weather, according to Garrigan.
The U.S. Coast Guard said that Gregory would not have been able to survive in the cold water past Sunday.
The dog survived the incident.
Scott said that members of the Kuljian's community had offered to take care of the entire family when they travel for the funeral.
Students at Gregory's high school began a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend, organizing a "Wear Green for Geddie" day on Monday.
"Rest in Paradise you sweet sweet boy. You were an honor to know, and I barely even knew you #weargreenforgeddie," wrote Twitter user Colleen Epperly.
"It's amazing how we all can come together to celebrate the life of such such a great person #WearGreenForGeddie." wrote Westleigh Davies.
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