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Death toll rises to 132 after Joplin, Mo., tornado

Pallbearers leave the funeral for Adam Darnaby, 27, on Friday in Galena, Kan. Darnaby’s was the first funeral for victims of the tornado that tore through nearby Joplin, Mo., on Sunday.

Associated Press

Pallbearers leave the funeral for Adam Darnaby, 27, on Friday in Galena, Kan. Darnaby’s was the first funeral for victims of the tornado that tore through nearby Joplin, Mo., on Sunday.

JOPLIN, Mo. — Friends and family paid tribute to victims of the Joplin tornado on Friday, beginning the grim task of burying the dead as officials said the savage storm's death toll had risen to 132 people.

As the first funeral began just over the Kansas border, city officials said the body count had gone up by six from the previous day.

The original list of 232 missing or unaccounted for residents had dropped to 156 by Friday, Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars said, adding that at least 90 people on the initial list had been found alive. City manager Mark Rohr acknowledged during an afternoon news conference that there may be "significant overlap" between the confirmed dead and the remainder of the missing list.

Earlier Friday, hundreds of mourners packed Tennessee Friends Prairie Church in Galena, Kan., for the first funeral of a confirmed victim of Sunday's tornado.

Few mentioned the twister or even the circumstances under which Adam Dewayne Darnaby died four days short of his 28th birthday. Instead, they celebrated the life of a devout Christian who loved his wife of less than three years and was a favorite uncle to nine nieces and nephews.

Darnaby was described as a hunter, a former high school football player and an avid catfish fisherman. He watched little television because, in the words of a close friend, "he was too busy living."

STORMS IN THE EAST: Violent weather swept across the Eastern seaboard overnight, dropping heavy rains that flooded towns from New England to Georgia and knocking out power. At least three people in the Atlanta area were killed.

Death toll rises to 132 after Joplin, Mo., tornado 05/27/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2011 11:04pm]

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