At least 36 people have been confirmed dead and 109 others remain unaccounted for since the Champlain Towers South, a 12-story oceanfront condominium, partially collapsed before dawn on June 24. A massive search and rescue mission is still underway, as officials hold out hope that more survivors will be found in the wreckage.
Local police and relatives have identified a number of the victims.
Stacie Dawn Fang, 54
Stacie Dawn Fang, who lived in apartment No. 1002 of the Champlain Towers South, was the first victim to be identified in the tragedy.
The 54-year-old mother and her 15-year-old son, Jonah Handler, were both pulled from the rubble alive on June 24, just hours after the partial collapse. A man walking his dog near the scene spotted Handler in the debris and alerted first responders.
“We could hear someone screaming, yelling, making noise,” Nicholas Balboa told ABC News. “He was putting his hands up through the rubble, saying, ‘Don’t leave me, don’t leave me.’ That’s when I signaled firefighters to get over here.”
The mother and son were transported to a local hospital, where Fang later died. Her identity was released by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 26.
“There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie,” Fang’s family told ABC News in a statement. “The members of the Fang and Handler family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy, compassion and support we have received. The many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much needed source of strength during this devastating time. On behalf of Stacie’s son, Jonah, we ask you now to please respect our privacy to grieve and to try to help each other heal.”
Antonio Lozano, 83, and Gladys Lozano, 79
The body of 83-year-old Antonio Lozano was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 24, while the body of his 79-year-old wife, Gladys Lozano, was recovered June 25. The couple lived in apartment No. 903 of the Champlain Towers South. Their identities were released by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 26.
Antonio and Gladys Lozano were married for 59 years and always use to spar over who would die first, with neither willing to live without the other, according to the couple’s grandson, Brian Lozano.
“It’s tragic but it’s strangely unsettling that I have peace knowing they would constantly play argue about who would pass first,” Brian Lozano told ABC News in a statement. “But in the end… they got what they both wanted. Each other.”
“Both were avid donators to non profit organizations especially to cancer since my grandmother lost her mother to the sickness,” he added. “Always providing for anyone who’s in need or just to spark a smile on someone’s face. Their souls were truly beautiful and are now blessed.
The couple’s son, Sergio Lozano, said he lived in the tower across from his parents and had dinner with them the night before the deadly disaster. He said he heard a rumble at around 1 a.m. local time and got out of bed to look out on the balcony of his unit.
“I tell [my wife], ‘It’s not there,'” Sergio Lozano told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG. “And she’s yelling, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘My parents’ apartment is not there, it’s gone!’ and I just ran downstairs.”
Manuel LaFont, 54
Manuel LaFont’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 25 and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 26. The 54-year-old lived in apartment No. 804 of the Champlain Towers South
LaFont shared two children with his ex-wife, a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. LaFont’s ex-wife, Adriana LaFont, said she picked up the kids from his apartment the night of June 23, just hours before the collapse.
Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, and Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74
The body of 80-year-old Leon Oliwkowicz was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 26 and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department the following day. The body of his 74-year-old wife, Christina Beatriz Elvira, was recovered and identified on June 27.
The couple lived in apartment No. 704 of the Champlain Towers South, their daughter told WPLG.
Frank Kleiman, 55; Anna Ortiz, 46; Luis Bermudez, 26; Jay Kleiman, 52; and Nancy Levin, 76
Frank Kleiman’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 28. He was 55.
Kleiman had just gotten married to 46-year-old Anna Ortiz and they lived with her son, 26-year-old Luis Bermudez, in the Champlain Towers South.
The bodies of Ortiz and Bermudez were both recovered on June 26 and identified on June 27. Their family told ABC News that the mother and son were found together and that they are certain she ran to be by his side, saying she was “always his protector.”
Frank Kleiman’s brother, Jay, and their mother, Nancy Levin, were recovered on July 5.
Ortiz’s sister said it was agonizing not knowing whether her loved ones were still trapped and in pain.
“I didn’t have the certainty. Are they alive or dead? Now I know they are OK,” Nicole Ortiz told ABC News.
Ortiz’s mother said she was a wonderful mom.
“It’s hard. I know this will take time,” Josefina Enriquez told ABC News. “I know she left with her son, and they had a beautiful, amazing life.”
“Those are the memories that will stick,” she added. “Their love for each other — that’s what I walk away with.”
Levin had previously served as the condo board’s vice president and resigned in September 2019, along with the president, over frustration with objections to repairs in the condo’s 40-year recertification process, according to The New York Times.
She had lived in the building since it opened in 1981.
Marcus Joseph Guara, 52; Anaely Rodriguez, 42; Lucia Guara; 10; and Emma Guara, 4
The body of 52-year-old Marcus Joseph Guara was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 26 and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 28.
The body of his wife, 42-year-old Anaely Rodriguez, and their two daughters, 10-year-old Lucia Guara and 4-year-old Emma Guara, were all recovered and identified on June
The family of four lived in the Champlain Towers South and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, just a few blocks away, according to the Miami Herald.
“They were very connected to the church community,” Father Juan Sosa, who has been the pastor at the church for 10 years, told the paper.
Michael David Altman, 50
Michael David Altman’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 28. He was 50.
Altman lived in apartment No. 1101 of the Champlain Towers South, according to WPLG.
Hilda Noriega, 92
The body of 92-year-old Hilda Noriega was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 29 and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department the following day.
Noriega lived in the Champlain Towers South, according to her grandson, Michael Noriega, who had told ABC News the day before she was recovered that their family was holding out hope she would be alive. The family had spotted a birthday card and photographs belonging to her amid the rubble, just feet away from where they were praying together.
Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21
Andreas Giannitsopoulos’ body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on June 30. He was 21.
Giannitsopoulos was a student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he was majoring in economics. The Texas native was visiting his father’s best friend, Manuel LaFont, in Surfside at the time of the partial collapse, according to Giannitsopoulos’ family. LaFont’s body was also recovered from the scene.
“To put it simply to know Andreas was to love Andreas,” Giannitsopoulos’ family told ABC News in a statement. “He was kind, compassionate, dedicated, and loving. He put others first always and never hesitated to do so. Andreas was a strong Greek Orthodox believer who is now in heaven with God and his godfather. He spent his life teaching others how to be selfless in everything they do. His family is hoping people will live with honor on remembrance of Andreas.”
Magaly Elena Delgado, 80
The body of Magaly Delgado was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 30 and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department the following day. She was 80.
Delgado lived on the ninth floor of the Champlain Towers South. Born in Cuba, she moved to the United States in 1961 and “worked all her life,” her daughter, Magaly Ramsey, told WPLG.
Ramsey, who is Delgado’s only child and lives in Jupiter, some 85 miles north of Surfside, described her mother as “independent” and “strong as can be.” She loved to travel and “was really living her best life right now,” according to Ramsey.
“She loved being at the beach and she loved her two grandchildren,” Ramsey told WPLG.
Delgado was “adored” by her grandchildren, though she “was not your typical ‘abuelita,'” Ramsey said.
“She was like, ‘Get up, work, go to church! You know, she was like, ‘Let’s be strong! You guys can do it! You come from a strong family!'” Ramsey recalled. “But they adored that about her as well.”
David Epstein, 58, and Bonnie Epstein, 56
Bonnie Epstein’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on June 30 and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on July 2. She was 56.
The body of her husband, 58-year-old David Epstein, was recovered on July 2 and identified on July 4.
The Epsteins lived together on the ninth floor of the Champlain Towers South, their son told WPLG.
Claudio Bonnefoy, 85, and Maria Obias-Bonnefoy, 69
The bodies of 85-year-old Claudio Bonnefoy and his wife, 69-year-old Maria Obias-Bonnefoy, were both recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on July 2.
The couple had lived together on the 10th floor of the Champlain Towers South for the past 16 years, according to their niece, Bettina Obias.
Obias told ABC News that her uncle and aunt had good jobs and traveled the world. Bonnefoy was a lawyer for the United Nations, while Obias-Bonnefoy was a budget officer for the International Monetary Fund.
Obias had arrived in Miami just hours after the disaster on a last-minute trip to visit her uncle and aunt. She received a text early that morning notifying her that their building had partially collapsed. She told ABC News that her aunt was like a second mother to her.
“I screamed and cried,” Obias said.
Unnamed 7-year-old girl
The body of a Miami firefighter’s 7-year-old daughter was among those recovered from the wreckage by first responders on July 2. The tragic news was announced during a press briefing later that morning.
Although officials have confirmed the girl’s age, the Miami-Dade Police Department said it is not releasing her name per a request from the family.
The firefighter was not part of the crew that discovered the girl’s body but he was notified, according to Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky.
Cominsky told reporters that rescue workers were “emotional” after the discovery of a first responder’s own daughter, which “takes a toll.”
Graciela Cattarossi, 48
Graciela Cattarossi’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on July 2. She was 48.
Graciela worked as a lifestyle photographer in Miami and lived with her parents, Gino and Graciela Cattarossi, in apartment No. 501 of the Champlain Towers South. Her sister, Andrea Cattarossi, was visiting from Argentina at the time of the disaster, according to WPLG. All three remain missing.
Gonzalo Torres, 81
The body of 81-year-old Gonzalo Torres was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on July 2.
Torres lived with with his wife, Maria Torres, in apartment No. 912 of the Champlain Towers South. Like many of the other victims, the couple was part of the congregation at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Miami Beach. The Cattarossi and Guara families were also among those who attended the church.
Maria Torres is still missing.
Tzvi Ainsworth, 68, and Ingrid Ainsworth, 66
The bodies of 68-year-old Tzvi Ainsworth and his wife, 66-year-old Ingrid Ainswoth, were recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department both on July 5.
The Ainsworths lived together in the Champlain Towers South. They had just welcomed the birth of two new grandchildren. Their son in South Africa recently had a baby and their other son in Floria had a baby just days before the disaster, their niece, Chana Harrel, told AP.
The couple attended a small synagogue in Surfside led by Rabbi Aryeh Citron.
“We have to realize that God’s ways are mysterious. There is really no answer for this now,” Cintron told WPLG. “What rabbis and clergy have to do in these situations, what I find, is to just be there for the family.”
Francis Fernandez Plasencia, 67
Fernandez’s body was recovered on July 5 and identified the next day.
She was staying with two friends at apartment No. 411 on the night of the collapse, family members told WPLG. The New York Times identified those friends as Maggie Vazquez-Bello and Rosa Saez, both of whom remain missing.
Fernandez was the mother of three adult children — Erika, Pablo and Christina.