Deadly Surfside condo collapse death toll rises to 64 with 76 missing

Deadly Surfside condo collapse death toll rises to 64 with 76 missing

07/09/2021

BREAKING NEWS: Bodies of Paraguayan First Lady’s sister, brother-in-law and the couple’s youngest child are found in deadly Surfside condo collapse as death toll rises to 64

  • The  bodies of Paraguayan First Lady’s sister, Sophia López Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill and their youngest child were among the victims identified Thursday
  • Eight new victims were identified by the evening   
  • Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the updated toll from the collapse with 64 dead 76 people still unaccounted for
  • Additionally victims Juan Mora Jr., 32, Andrea Cattarossi, 56, Ruslan Manashirov, 36, Harold Rosenberg, 52, and Gloria Machado, 71, were named 
  • Levine Cava also confirmed that the total death toll could be as high as 140 
  • Earlier in the day Levine Cava announced that rescue workers who had been tasked to find survivors refused to leave the site
  • Workers had paused for a moment Thursday afternoon to mark the two-week anniversary of the disaster 

The bodies of Paraguayan first lady’s sister, Sophia López Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill and their youngest child were among the victims of the deadly condo collapse in Surfside identified on Thursday, according to local news reports. 

The discovery, which was confirmed by Paraguay Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo, came as the death toll has risen to 64 and eight more bodies have been identified as rescue workers comb through the demolished site to search for the 76 people still missing.  

Moreira is the sister of President Mario Abdo Benítez’s wife, Silvana. 

The family owned an apartment inside the condo, and were said to have received their Covid-19 vaccines hours before the collapse, which also happened on Luis’ birthday.   

Also missing with them was Leidy Luna Villalba, 23, who had never left her small town in Paraguay until she moved to Surfside to take a well-paid job traveling with Moreira’s family in Miami in order to help her struggling family, and pay her way through nursing school.

She had previously spent a year working as a nanny for the first lady of Paraguay’s family, the Miami Herald reported.

Her body has not yet been identified.  

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the updated death toll Thursday evening as she said workers continued their recovery efforts on the site of the destroyed structure. 

So far, 40 of the bodies have been identified, and 200 people accounted for, Levine Cava said. 

Final death toll, she said, could be as high as 140, she told CNN.  

Sophia López Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill and her younest child were among the victims of the deadly collapse identified Thursday. Moreira is the sister of President Mario Abdo Benítez’s wife Silvana

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava updated the death toll on Thursday evening from the condo collapse in Surfside as it hit 64 with 76 people still unaccounted for

The announcement came after rescue workers now focused on finding remains instead of survivors in the rubble of a Florida condominium collapse paused briefly atop the pile earlier Thursday to mark the two-week anniversary of the disaster but said they had no plans to pull back during the recovery effort.

Levine Cava told WSVN-TV that rescue workers whose job it is to find survivors refused to leave after it became clear that there is virtually no chance of finding anyone alive in the rubble.  

‘Our Miami-Dade County Task Force 1 members, who’ve been here since the beginning, they could go home, but they’re still here,’ Levine Cava said. 

Detectives are still working to verify that each of those listed as missing was actually in the building when it collapsed.

Additionally, Miami-Dade police announced the identities of five more victims of the collapse Thursday evening. 

Juan Alberto Mora Jr., 32, had been visiting his parents Ana and Juan Mora Sr. from Chicago. 

Oscar Cepero, a fellow classmate of Mora’s from Miami’s Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, said he had gone fishing with him the Saturday before the collapse, the Miami Herald reported. 

He said the news felt ‘surreal,’ and had rushed to the scene after the disaster. 


The remains of Dr. Ruslan Manashirov, 36 (left) were identified Thursday evening. He and his wife Nicole Doran-Manashirov exchanged vows just eight weeks before the partial collapse of the 13-story oceanfront condo where they lived. His wife is still missing. The remains of Juan Alberto Mora Jr., 32, (right) were also identified. He was visiting his parents Ana and Juan Mora Sr. from Chicago. They are still missing

‘I was like, this looks like his parent’s place,’ Cepero said. ‘I went to the reunification place and was looking around for them, but nobody was providing information.’

Mora’s parents remain missing. 

The remains of Andrea Cattarossi, 56, were also identified. 

Cattarossi, an architect, was visiting her sister Graciela Cattarossi, her 7-year-old daughter Stella Cattarossi and her parents Gino and Graciela Cattarossi from Argentina. 

Andrea Cattarossi, 56, an architect, was visiting her family from her native Pilar, Argentina. Her remains were identified on Thursday

Stella, and her mother were identified on Sunday, and Gino and Graciela were identified on Tuesday. 

Mariela Porras, a family friend, said Andrea was visiting from South America to help the family as her father was set to undergo surgery.

‘I am angry that this happened,’ Porras told WPLG-TV.

‘You can call it a tragedy, but to me it’s sheer negligence.’

Also identified was Dr. Ruslan Manashirov, 36. He and Nicole Doran-Manashirov, 43, had lived in the condo, and exchanged vows just eight weeks before the disaster.

Manashirov was a neurologist and family doctor at ClareMedica of South Miami.

He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, to an Azerbaijani-Jewish family originally from the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, according to Chabad.org, the Judaism site of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.  

He ‘just enveloped you with his personality,’ Susan DeRisi, a friend of the couple, told the Post-Gazette.

‘He came into the group and it was like he belonged.’ 

Friends and family launched a Gofundme page to help pay for the family’s expenses.

The remains of Harry Rosenberg, 52, were also identified.


Harry Rosenberg, 52, was also identified. He was being visited by his daughter and her husband. They are still missing. Also identified was Gloria Machado, 71. She lived on the 11th floor

Rosenberg’s wife had died of cancer and both of his parents had recently died from COVID-19 so he had been living in Florida. 

His daughter Malki Weiss and her husband Benny Weiss were visiting from Lakewood, New Jersey. They are still missing.

A Lakewood rabbi, and friend of the family, said the orthodox community of which they were a part would continue to hold out hope until there was evidence of their death, the outlet reported. 

‘[Rosenberg’s] wife died last year of cancer, and both his parents died from COVID,’ the rabbi said. ‘That’s one of the reasons he went down there, just to air out a little bit for a year.’

Also identified was Gloria Machado, 71. She lived on the 11th floor.   

Meanwhile, rescue workers who have been at the site for two weeks are dedicated to the task of recovering as many victims as possible, Levine Cava said.

Laura Solla weeps as she places flowers near the memorial site for victims of the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida on Thursday

Former NBA player Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat pays his respects at the memorial site for victims of the collapsed condo on Thursday

The death toll rose to 64, with another 76 people unaccounted for, Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference Thursday

‘The work continues with all speed and urgency,’ she said. 

‘We are working around the clock to recover victims and to bring closure to the families as fast as we possibly can.’

The painstaking search for survivors shifted to a recovery effort at midnight Wednesday after authorities said they had come to the agonizing conclusion that there was ‘no chance of life’ in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside.

Bernardo Camou Font points to a picture of his siblings, including Gabriela, who died in the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building

With the death toll currently at 64 and 76 people still missing, rescue workers have shifted the operation to recovery efforts. A mourner is comforted at the memorial site for victims on Thursday

Bernardo Camou Font places an Uruguayan flag at the memorial site for victims of the collapsed condo in Surfside on Thursday

Candles and pictures sit at a memorial site for victims of the collapsed condo in Surfside on Thursday

Rescue and personnel workers work to recover remains of victims at the site of the collapsed condo on Thursday

‘When that happened, it took a little piece of the hearts of this community,’ said US House Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose congressional district includes Surfside.

Michael Stratton, whose wife, Cassie, has not officially been confirmed dead, said friends and family had accepted ‘the loss of a bright and kind soul with an adventurous spirit.’ 

He was talking on the phone with his wife right when the building collapsed, and she described that it was shaking before the phone went dead, he has told Denver´s KDVR-TV.

‘This wasn’t the miracle we prayed for, but it was not for lack of trying by rescue crews whose tireless bravery will never be forgotten,’ he said in a statement Thursday.

Wasserman Schultz and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pledged financial assistance to families of the victims, as well as to residents of the building who survived but lost all their possessions, while acknowledging the devastating toll the tragedy has taken on them over the past two weeks.

‘The work continues with all speed and urgency,’ Miami-Dade County Mayor Danielle Levine Cava said.

A rescue worker is seen above at the site of the collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida on Thursday

‘Is there hope? Will we be able to have a miracle? I know it’s weighed a lot on the families,’ DeSantis said.

In addition to property tax relief for residents of the building, DeSantis said the state government will work toward channeling an outpouring of charitable donations to families affected by the collapse. 

Levine Cava said crews were also collecting and cataloguing a long list of personal items, including legal documents, photo albums, jewelry, wallets, and electronic goods that they would seek to reunite families with.

The change from search and rescue to recovery was somber. 

Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told weeping families during a private briefing on Wednesday that the rescuers’ ‘sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure.’ Two rescue workers are seen above at the site on Thursday

An excavator carries away debris at the site of the collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida on Thursday

Bernardo Camou Font points to a picture of his siblings, including Gabriela, who died in the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building

Hours before the transition Wednesday, rescue workers stood at solemn attention, and clergy members hugged a line of local officials while many of them sobbed.

An accordion player unseen on a nearby tennis court played Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man,’ which was followed by a piccolo playing ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic.’

On a tall nearby fence, families and well-wishers had posted photos of the victims, supportive messages and flowers. Firefighters hung a banner atop the fence that read ‘Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Mourns With You.’

Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told weeping families during a private briefing on Wednesday that the rescuers’ ‘sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure.’

Later, during a news conference, Jadallah said crews remained committed to doing whatever it takes to finish the job.

‘The resources are still there. The men and women are still there. The support is still there,’ said Jadallah, who began crying silently after he spoke.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said he expects the recovery effort will take several more weeks.  

Dennis Dirkmaat, an anthropology professor who chairs the Department of Applied and Forensic Sciences at Mercyhurst University, said he expects crews will use heavy equipment in a ‘top down approach’ to methodically lift material off the debris pile, place it in containers and evaluate it for evidence of human remains. 

He said the process would likely be repeated as the crews move to subsequent floors.

People watch as debris is collected from the collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida on Thursday

‘It’s still a process, slow, tedious process of removing all of this debris. And so it’s going to take a while,’ he said.

Hope of finding survivors was briefly rekindled after workers demolished the remainder of the building, allowing rescuers access to new areas of debris.

Some voids where survivors could have been trapped did exist, mostly in the basement and the parking garage, but no one was found alive. 

Instead, teams recovered more than a dozen additional victims. Because the building fell in the early morning hours, many were found dead in their beds.

Authorities are launching a grand jury investigation into the collapse and at least six lawsuits have been filed by Champlain Towers families

The painstaking search for survivors shifted to a recovery effort at midnight Wednesday after authorities said they had come to the agonizing conclusion that there was ‘no chance of life’ in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside

No one had been pulled out alive since the first hours after the 12-story building fell on June 24.

Twice during the search operation, rescuers had to suspend the mission because of the instability of the remaining part of the condominium building and the preparation for demolition.

Authorities are launching a grand jury investigation into the collapse and at least six lawsuits have been filed by Champlain Towers families.

Dennis Dirkmaat, an anthropology professor who chairs the Department of Applied and Forensic Sciences at Mercyhurst University, said he expects crews will use heavy equipment in a ‘top down approach’ to methodically lift material off the debris pile, place it in containers and evaluate it for evidence of human remains. 

He said the process would likely be repeated as the crews move to subsequent floors.

‘It’s still a process, slow, tedious process of removing all of this debris. And so it’s going to take a while,’ he said.

Hope of finding survivors was briefly rekindled after workers demolished the remainder of the building, allowing rescuers access to new areas of debris.

Some voids where survivors could have been trapped did exist, mostly in the basement and the parking garage, but no one was found alive. 

Instead, teams recovered more than a dozen additional victims. Because the building fell in the early morning hours, many were found dead in their beds.

No one had been pulled out alive since the first hours after the 12-story building fell on June 24.

Signs are placed near the memorial site for victims in Surfside, Florida on Thursday

The image above shows a makeshift memorial for the Guara family of four who were killed in the June 24 condo collapse

Twice during the search operation, rescuers had to suspend the mission because of the instability of the remaining part of the condominium building and the preparation for demolition.

Authorities are launching a grand jury investigation into the collapse and at least six lawsuits have been filed by Champlain Towers families.

Miami-Dade police officials announced the identity of another victim, Elaine Lia Sabino, 71, at around 9pm Wednesday. 

Sabino was a flight attendant, working for years with US Airways and JetBlue.

She lived on the top floor of the condo with her friend, Richard Augustine, 77, who remains missing.

She was often known to give a helping hand, and even volunteered in 2009 to help with the rescue effort when US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of birds and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River.

On Wednesday, officials also identified another victim of the collapse, Elaine Lia Sabino, 71, who was a flight attendant 

‘We were like sisters and stayed in touch pretty often,’ Sabino’s friend Shelly Angle told the Miami Herald. 

‘The main thing people know about Elaine is she’s always there to give you a hand in everything you’re doing.’

Also confirmed on Wednesday was the discovery of the body of Dr. Gary Cohen, 58.

Cohen traveled down to south Florida from his Alabama home to visit his elderly father in Boynton Beach, before fatefully deciding to spend time with his brother, Brad, at his 11th floor apartment in the condo. 

His brother is still missing.  

Cohen was a psychiatrist at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 

He and his brother grew up in Dix Hills, New York, with father Morton and mother Debra, 84, who now lives in Boynton Beach, Florida. 

Cohen eventually relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife Mindy.  

Rabbi Yossi Friedman, program director of Chabad, Alabama, said: ‘Gary was always coming over to me and sharing what he had learned online or had read. With a unique persistence, he would always probe, ask, debate and discover.

‘He was not shy about sharing his understanding, but he was always willing to listen to others and concede to them when he thought they were right.’

During Wednesday’s official announcement, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said: ‘The possibility of finding someone still alive is near zero.’

However, he added that he was still holding out hope for a miracle.  

THE MIAMI CONDO COLLAPSE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED SO FAR

54-year-old Stacie Fang

STACIE DAWN FANG

Stacie Dawn Fang, 54, was with her son Jonah Handler, a teenager, when the building collapsed. They lived on the tenth floor. The boy’s small hand waved through the wreckage as a man out walking his dog hurried to the site, climbed through a pile of glass and rebar and promised to get help right away.

Rescuers helped the boy out from under a pile of cement and carried him away on a stretcher to a hospital.

‘There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie,’ members of her family said in a statement. ‘Many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much needed source of strength during this devastating time.’

Asked about the boy’s condition, a family friend, Lisa Mozloom told the AP ‘He will be fine. He’s a miracle.’

MANUEL LAFONT

Manuel LaFont, 54

Manuel LaFont, 54, was a proud father, a baseball fan and a business consultant who lived on the building’s eighth floor. 

He had a 10-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter with his ex-wife Adriana LaFont, the Miami Herald reported.

Adriana asked her friends on Facebook to pray the rosary for Manny before his body was found. ‘So many memories inside the walls that are no more today, forever engraved experiences in the heart,’ she wrote.

LaFont, a Houston native, coached his son’s baseball team, the Astros, at North Shore Park, just a mile away from the Champlain. He was a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Miami Beach. The parish’s school parents gathered Saturday afternoon to pray for LaFont and his neighbors who were still missing.

An alumnus of Sharpstown High School in Houston, LaFont had worked across Latin America and the Caribbean for a manufacturing firm, leading a division focusing on roadway safety that built crash cushions and moveable barriers, the Herald reported.

‘I got into this industry specifically because I don’t want to sell widgets. I want to help people. I want to do something good in this world,’ he said at an industry conference in 2016. ‘When I die, I want to say that my life meant something.’

ANTONIO AND GLADYS LOZANO

Antonio and Gladys Lozano

Antonio and Gladys Lozano lived on the ninth floor. The two had known each other over 60 years and would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on July 21.

Their sons told WPLG-TV that the couple had joked neither wanted to die before the other, because neither wanted to live without the other. Their one solace, the brothers said, was that they were together when they died.

Authorities confirmed on Saturday that Antonio, 83, and Gladys, 79, were among the dead.

Sergio Lozano said he had dinner with his parents hours before the collapse. He lived in one of the towers of the complex and could see his parents’ apartment across the way from his. That night, he said the heard a loud noise they thought could be a storm.

‘The building is not there,’ he said he told his wife. ‘My parents’ apartment is not there. It’s gone.’

ANA ORTIZ, HER HUSBAND FRANK AND HER SON LUIZ 

Ana Ortiz, left, and her son Luis Bermudez and Leon Oliwkowicz and his wife Christina (right) 

Luis Bermudez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, had battled with muscular dystrophy for years and used a wheelchair. The 26-year-old man lived with his mother Ana Ortiz on the seventh floor of the Champlain Towers South.  

His father, also named Luis Bermudez, texted the AP saying ‘my son is a hero.’ He also wrote on Facebook that he could not believe he’s gone.

‘Now rest in peace and without any obstacles in heaven,’ he wrote. ‘I will see you soon my Luiyo.’

Ortiz, 46, had just gotten married with Frankie Kleiman. Alex Garcia, the couple’s close friend, told The Miami Herald he had set them up on a blind date. Kleiman lived with his wife and stepson on the same floor as his brother Jay Kleiman, who was in town for a funeral, and their mother Nancy Kress Levin. The Kleimans and their mother are still missing.

50-year-old Frank Kleiman, left, was found on Monday. He was Ana’s husband

Ortiz was described as a woman who was committed to giving her son the best possible life.

‘She´s a rock star. And gorgeous,” Garcia told the Herald. “And on top of that a super mom.

FRANK KLEIMAN 

Kleiman, 50, was the husband of Ana Ortiz, whose body was found alongside that of her disabled son, Luiz, over the weekend. 

LEON AND CHRISTINA OLIWKOWICZ

Leon Oliwkowicz and his wife Christina were also identified as victims of the tower collapse on Sunday evening 

The couple lived on the 8th floor of the condo tower for several years, according to Venezuelan journalist Shirley Varnagy, a close friend of their family.

They were among six Venezuelan natives caught in the building’s collapse. Still missing Monday were Moisés Rodán, 28; Andrés Levine, 27; Luis Sadovnik, 28, and his wife, Nicole Langesfeld, Varnagy said.

Varnagy said the Oliwkowicz’s daughter had been outside the building waiting for some information about their fate. Her husband answered their phone and asked to be left alone.

The couple’s daughter, Mrs. Leah Fouhal, works as a secretary at a Jewish school in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, where the couple donated a Torah in 2019 in a procession that included a vintage fire truck, music and a giant velvet and gold crown, according to COLlive.com, an Orthodox Jewish news outlet that covers Chabad-Lubavitch communities around the world.

Meanwhile, the parents of Rodán, Levine and Sadovnik live in Venezuela and traveled to the U.S. Friday. ‘Some did not have a visa, others had an expired passport, but with diplomatic collaboration they were able to arrive,’ Varnagy said.  

MICHAEL DAVID ALTMAN

The body of 52-year-old Marcus Joseph Guara was recovered on Saturday

HILDA NORIEGA  

Hilda Noriega (pictured) was named by her family Wednesday as the 12th confirmed victim of the tragedy 

Hilda Noriega, who lived in Apt. 602 in the 12-story tower, was the mother of North Bay Village Police Chief Carlos Noriega. 

She had only recently celebrated her 92nd birthday. 

Her body was discovered among the remains of the condo tower Tuesday.

Her family paid tribute to the ‘matriarch of the family’ in a statement Wednesday.  

Noriega’s son had traveled to the collapse site Thursday to look for his mother, who had only recently celebrated her 92nd birthday.

Among the rubble, the police chief found a birthday card a relative had given to Noriega at a brunch, reported Local10. 

Emma Guara, 4, Lucia Guara, 10, Anaely Rodriguez, 42, and Marcus Guara, 52

THE GUARA FAMILY

Miami-Dade police identified 10-year-old Lucia Guara and 4-year-old Emma Guara as victims in the condo collapse on Wednesday, June 30.

The remains of their father, Marcus Guara, 52, were pulled from the rubble Saturday and identified Monday. The girls and their mother, Anaely Rodriguez, 42, were recovered Wednesday.

The family lived on the eighth floor of the condo.

DAVID AND BONNIE EPSTEIN 

Bonnie and David Epstein were on the ninth floor when the building gave way. Their son, Jonathan, who lives in New York City said he hasn’t been able to contact them.

‘I’m trying to be a little optimistic, but I just don’t see it,’ he told WJXT.

‘It just doesn’t seem real, you know? Why this building? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t know. I’m struggling to make sense of it.’

Bonnie and David Epstein were on the ninth floor when the building gave way. Authorities identified David’s body on Sunday. His wife was found days earlier

On Sunday, Miami-Dade police identified David, 58, as one of the 24 people known to have perished in the fallen tower. His remains were recovered on Friday. 

Bonnie’s body was recovered days earlier. She was 56 years old.

The couple, who worked in real estate investments, moved to Florida to retire early so that they could pursue their love of water sports, according to a friend.

Richard Oller, a friend of the couple, wrote on Facebook that David and Bonnie lived on the ninth floor of the building with their dog.  

GRACIELA CATTAROSSI AND STELLA CATTAROSSI

Seven-year-old Stella Cattarossi’s body was found alongside her mother Graciela, 48

A Miami firefighter was present when the body of his seven-year-old daughter was recovered from the rubble of the Surfside condo catastrophe in Florida.

Officials said the body of Stella Cattarossi was found Tursday, seven days after the collapse of Champlain South Tower which has left 22 confirmed dead and 126 still missing.

Friends posting online said the girl was found sleeping alongside her 48-year-old mother Graciela. Authorities later confirmed that both mother and daughter were found.

They were staying with Graciella’s elderly parents, Graciela and Gino Cattarossi, who have not been identified, but are also unaccounted for. 

Stella’s father Enrique Arango – a ten-year veteran of the Miami Fire Rescue department – is a member of the rescue team who found the girl and was present when her body was recovered.

He had been on the site with his brother.

Graciela’s sister Andrea, an architect based in Pilar, Argentina, was visiting at the time of the disaster. She is also still missing.  

GONZALO TORRE 

Gonzalo Torre, 81, whose remains were found on Saturday, lived at the condo. 

MARICOY OBIAS-BONNEFOY AND CLAUDIO BONNEFOY 

The bodies of Chilean national Claudio Bonnefo, 85, and his wife Maria ‘Maricoy’ Obias-Bonnefoy, 69, were identified by authorities.

They were among at least 36 people from Latin American nations that are missing, according to the Miami Herald. The couple were reported missing from Unit #1001.

Maricoy Obias-Bonnefoy, born in the Philippines, reportedly called her niece Irene Obias-Sanchez on the evening of the building collapse to discuss a family get-together planned for that coming Sunday.

The bodies of Chilean national Claudio Bonnefo, 85, and his wife Maria ‘Maricoy’ Obias-Bonnefoy, 69, were identified by authorities

It would have been one their first family gatherings since the pandemic as the Bonnefoys were strict about following lockdown restrictions.

‘I could have just texted her back like I often did, but last night it felt different. I knew she wanted to talk about a get-together we were planning on Sunday with my sisters. She was so excited to finally be able to socialize with family after everyone was vaccinated,’ Obias-Sanchez said.

Obias-Bonnefoy had immigrated to the US in the 1970s and worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. before moving to retiring and moving to Surfside about 10 years ago, the Miami Herald reported.  

ANDREAS GIANNITSOPOULOS 

Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21, of Houston was about to start his senior year at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Miami-Dade Police identified him as one of the victims of the June 24 condo collapse in Surfside.

Giannitsopoulos was in Surfside to visit his godfather and his father’s best friend, Manuel ‘Manny’ LaFont.

Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21, of Houston was about to start his senior year at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Miami-Dade Police identified him as one of the victims of the June 24 condo collapse in Surfside

The 54-year-old, a coach and business consultant, was also identified as one of the victims.

‘My brother was honestly like my other half,’ 19-year-old Athanasia Giannitsopoulos told The Tennessean.

‘He was my best friend as well as my older brother, so he always protected me and he was always there for me no matter what.

‘He was the most selfless person I have ever met in my life.’ 

TZVI AINSWORTH AND INGRID AINSWORTH 

Tzvi Ainsworth, 68, and his wife, Ingrid Ainsworth, 66, were confirmed to have been killed in the condo collapse on Monday. 

The couple, who moved to Miami from Melbourne, Australia, had an apartment on the 11th floor. 

The Ainsworths, who were well known among Melbourne’s small Jewish community, split their time between Florida and Australia. 

The Ainsworths lived in Australia for nearly two decades before returning to South Florida to be near their children. 

The couple had seven children and many live in South Florida, including a daughter who lives just blocks away. 

Tzvi (pictured far left) and Ingrid (pictured far right) Ainsworth, members of the Jewish community from Melbourne, lived in an apartment on the 11th floor of the building. Their remains were identified on Monday, July 5

‘Every person she encountered, ever in her life, became her friend. Everyone was treated as equals,’ Chana Wasserman wrote in a Mother’s Day blog post to her mother Itty last year. 

‘The guy at the laundromat, the guy working at the fruit market… 

Ingrid struggled with chronic pain issues, but didn’t let that darken her mood. 

She tried to focus on the positive, a sunny day, a long car ride that would seem tedious to many she reframed as a chance to talk and catch up, her daughter wrote. 

NANCY LEVIN AND JAY KLEIMAN

Nancy Levin, 76, and her son Jay Kleiman, 52, were among the three victims of the Surfside condo collapsed identified on July 6.

Levin fled the Cuban Revolution with her first husband in 1959, and first settled in Puerto Rico.

Then in the 1980s she moved as a single mother with her two boys to Surfside.


Nancy Levin, 76, along with her son Jay Kleiman, 52, were among the three victims of the Surfside condo collapsed identified on Tuesday 

There, they lived in the then-new condo building popular with Hispanic Jews who had come mostly from Cuba.

In Surfside, she became a beloved member of the Shul Jewish community, and was known there as a doting ‘abuela,’ according to Chabad.org.

She was one of the seven volunteers who served on the condo association board, tasked with with organizing repairs for the building, and she was the only one that perished in the collapse.

Her son, Jay Kleiman moved back to Puerto Rico to work with his father in the garment industry.

He was used to hard times; the business suffered with the financial crisis in the Caribbean territory and Hurricane Maria in 2017. But they pulled through.

He had been visiting his mother in recent weeks for the funeral of an old high school friend who died of the coronavirus. 

FRANICS FERNANDEZ PLACENSIA

Francis Fernandez Plasencia was a 67-year-old a mother of three. 

Plasencia, originally from Cuba, was the mother of three children, Erika, Pablo and Christina, and was spending the night visiting friends Maggie Vazquez-Bello and Rosa Saez, who are still missing. 

Francis Fernandez Placensia, 67, was also one of the three victims identified on July 6

Placensia left behind three children Pablo (from left) Erika and Christina, whom she was close with

She was a parishioner of Coral Gables’ Church of the Little Flower, and in her social media presence she appeared to remain close with her children, often celebrating holidays and eating dinner together.  

A Gofundme has been set up to assist her family. 

SIMON SEGAL 

Simon Segal, a structural engineer who devoted his life to ensuring the integrity of buildings, was reported missing from Unit 1203 after the collapse of Champlain Tower South on June 24.

His body was recovered on Tuesday and his identity confirmed on Wednesday.


The body of engineer Simon Segal, who lived in the Champlain Towers unit 1203, has been identified

Segal, 80, was shown in a social media post by his niece, Melissa Goldstein Grosfeld, which reads: ‘Our Uncle Simon Segal In the Champlain Towers unit 1203 is missing after the collapse- Prayers for all the families in this horrific tragedy.’

Miami-Dade Police announced that Segal’s remains were positively identified.

Segal worked as a product control reviewer for the State of Florida. 

GINO AND GRACIELA CATTAROSSI 

Miami-Dade Police announced that they had identified the remains of Graciela Cattarossi, 86, and her husband, Gino Cattarossi, 89.

Their bodies were recovered on Tuesday, July 6.

Graciela worked for the United Nations back in the 1960s, where she represented her home country of Uruguay.

Miami-Dade Police announced that they had identified the remains of Graciela Cattarossi, 86, and her husband, Gino Cattarossi, 89. Their bodies were recovered on July 6 

The couple lived in Apartment 501 with their 48-year-old daughter, an independent lifestyle photographer also named Graciela Cattarossi, and their 7-year-old granddaughter, Estella. All four were missing after the condo collapsed, along with Cattarossi’s sister, Andrea, an architect in Pilar, Argentina, who was visiting

All four were missing after the condo collapsed, along with Cattarossi’s sister, Andrea (above), an architect in Pilar, Argentina, who was visiting

The couple lived in Apartment 501 with their 48-year-old daughter, an independent lifestyle photographer also named Graciela Cattarossi, and their 7-year-old granddaughter, Estella.

All four were missing after the condo collapsed, along with Cattarossi’s sister, Andrea, an architect in Pilar, Argentina, who was visiting.

Mariela Porras, a family friend, said Andrea was visiting from South America to help the family as her father was set to undergo surgery.

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