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surfside tragedy, El American

Latest Surfside Victim Identified

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that the 98th victim has been identified by her family.

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Authorities in Miami-Dade County, Florida, have identified Estelle Hedaya, 54, as the latest victim of the sudden collapse of the Champlain Towers South residential building at midnight on June 24 in Surfside.

Hedaya brings the total number of fatalities to 98. The announcement comes days after authorities ended the search for bodies at the site and more than a month after the deadly collapse.

“Nothing we can say or do will bring back these 98 angels who left behind grieving families, dear friends, loved ones in this community and around the world,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Monday at a news conference.

“This tragedy in Surfside is something that will live with all of us forever,” she added.

While all of the victims who were reported missing have been identified, Levine Cava reported that the Miami-Dade Police Department is still searching the evidence pile “to ensure that all identifiable human remains are recovered.”

Ikey Hedaya, brother of the deceased, told CBS Miami that her remains will be flown to the family’s home in Midwood, Brooklyn, for a Jewish funeral followed by traditional mourning period, Shiva.

Ikey further reported that he had provided DNA samples and had visited the collapse site twice before his sister’s body was identified.

Among the victims of the collapse, in addition to Americans, there are Argentines, Cubans, Uruguayans, Colombians, Chileans, Venezuelans, Paraguayans and Israelis, among other nationalities.

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