Racine Couple Loses Family in Haiti Quake

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  • People affected by the earthquake in Haiti. | Photo: MSNBC

RACINE - A couple in Racine, who was waiting for word for nearly two days on the conditions of family members after the earthquake rocked Haiti, received some painful news.

Don Pitchers says that his wife, Stephanie Batrino-Pitchers, has lost her great uncle, her uncle and his wife.

He explained that they were having dinner when the quake struck, and the house collapsed in on them.

That's among the incredible loss in the Carribean nation.

Stephanie's grandparents migrated there from Lebanon, and Stephanie's grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins and even her sister were still there, stuck in the quake zone.

Two people from Southeastern Wisconsin are reported missing in Haiti:
Melissa Elliott, a college student from Hartland
Peter Van Horn, a Town of Delafield Supervisor

More: 
Report: Milwaukee-Area Student Found in Haiti 
No Word Yet on Child Sponsored by WTMJ Anchor
Racine Couple Loses Family in Earthquake
Church Groups Workers OK
UW Group in Haiti Unhurt
Local Groups Reeling
Milwaukee's Eyes on Haiti
MSNBC Coverage

Audio: 
Mike Elliott, whose daughter is missing in Haiti, on 620WTMJ's Wisconsin's Morning News
Dr. Ron and Ronnie Pruhs, who have done service work in Haiti for years, on 620WTMJ's Wisconsin's Morning News

Blog: 
The Cold-Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller: How To Help

TODAY'S TMJ4 HD's "How You Can Help Phone Bank"
Call in with your pledge from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 14th to donate money to the Red Cross

Sampling of Haiti-Serving Charities with Milwaukee Connections:
Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee World Mission Ministries
Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Haiti Project
Friends for Health in Haiti 
Gesu Parish in Milwaukee, twinning with St. Jude's Church in Haiti
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Milwaukee, twinning with Norwich Mission House in Haiti
Our Little Brothers and Sisters
Salvation Army of Southeastern Wisconsin
St. Francis Cabrini Parish in West Bend's Haiti Outreach
St. Mary's of Hales Corners
Three Angels Children's Relief

Other Efforts: 
Text HAITI to 90999 and $10 will be donated automatically to the Red Cross, charged to your cell phone bill
MSNBC's List of Charitable Organizations

Her sister barely survived.

"She was actually on the 3rd floor when the building collapsed," said Stephanie.

"She was able to slide down the rubble and get out. She does know there are at least two of her co-workers that had been killed in the collapse."

Her sister has cuts and bruises, but miraculously will be OK.

Stephanie described communication as very difficult in Haiti, an impoverished country with very poor infrastructure.

"(Her sister) said to expect e-mails from people we don't know," said Stephanie. "It's kind of like they are doing this tag team. Anyone can get word out that people are safe, they are trying."