Grieving Surfside condo families want officials to keep searching in piles of rubble for remains


Grieving Surfside condo families want officials to keep searching in piles of rubble for remains: Casket of New Yorker among the 98 dead was so light, friend says, she could have ‘lifted it with her pinkie’ because so little of her body was found

  • Estelle Hedaya’s casket was so light her best friend Lisa Shrem said she could have ‘lifted it with her pinkie’ 
  • She is among the 98 who died in the tower collapse back on June 24 
  • Martin Langesfeld, 24, lost his sister Nicole, 24, and her husband, 28, in the collapse and he is now calling for authorities to search ‘one more time at least’
  • He argued that he has barely received 50 per cent of his sister and that all four searches crew did produced remains 
  • The building was recently sold for $120million, despite families wanting to construct a memorial for those who died  










Families still grieving the loss of loved ones killed in the Surfside condo collapse are demanding authorities keep sifting through the rubble for as long as it takes to find remains. 

Many families of the 98 victims have received just trace amounts of remains after the Florida complex collapsed on June 24. 

Friends and family of New Yorker Estelle Hedaya, 54, said they received so little of the victim’s remains that they could easily lift her casket. 

‘I could have lifted it with my pinkie,’ her best friend Lisa Shrem told the Washington Post. 

So little of New Yorker Estelle Hedaya's remains were found in the collapse of the Surfside condo in Miami. Her best friend Lisa Shrem said: 'I could have lifted it [her casket] with my pinkie'

So little of New Yorker Estelle Hedaya’s remains were found in the collapse of the Surfside condo in Miami. Her best friend Lisa Shrem said: ‘I could have lifted it [her casket] with my pinkie’

After the initial recovery effort at the site, officials moved the rubble to a location 14 miles from the condos, near Miami International Airport. 

The rubble has been divided into two piles, based on supposed value of the evidence it might hold. The portions that crews have determined to contain possible remains are moved inside a warehouse, while the rest is left outside. 

The county has requested a judge’s permission to dispose of the debris they consider irrelevant to the investigation. 

‘It’s very sad to hear how Miami-Dade County wants to throw everything away in the trash and make us forget and move past this,’ said Martin Langesfeld, 24, who lost his twin sister, Nicole, and her newly-wedded husband, Luis Sadovnic, 28, in the collapse.

‘They were people with families and emotions. And they cannot be thrown away with trash.’ 

Many families aren’t convinced all the remains have been found. Throughout the four searches, crews continued to produce more and more remains. 

In addition, the heat wave throughout Miami all summer has compromised remains and could have made some indistinguishable to an untrained eye. 

‘We have very small percentages of loved ones,’ Langesfeld told the Washington Post. His family has only received around 50 percent of Nicole’s remains. 

Langesfeld said sifting through the rubble four times wasn’t enough if there is still a chance remains could be found. 

‘I’m telling them to search one more time at least, because we have very small percentages of loved ones,’ he told the Washington Post. 

‘If it takes a hundred times or a thousand times, then that’s what needs to happen.’ 

Many families want a memorial to be constructed on the grounds of the South tower, but their plans were foiled when the property was sold for $120million.

A total of 55 apartments in the 136-unit condo complex collapsed, with around 80 percent of the building reportedly being occupied. Officials said at the time they believed the building had been ‘substantially full.’ 

Investigators probing the collapse reported the building had significant concrete structure damages to its pool deck area and garage area.  There was extensive corrosion to one of the main columns in the building’s foundation, the investigation found. 

The structure underneath the pool deck has significant damage and collapsed onto the garage below.   

Authorities searched the rubble four times and have now requested a judge to allow them to dispose of any debris they haven't declared to hold any evidence

Authorities searched the rubble four times and have now requested a judge to allow them to dispose of any debris they haven’t declared to hold any evidence 

The rubble from the condo collapse is being taken to a warehouse near the Miami International Airport, where debris authorities think contains evidence is placed in a warehouse and the rest is left outside

The rubble from the condo collapse is being taken to a warehouse near the Miami International Airport, where debris authorities think contains evidence is placed in a warehouse and the rest is left outside 

The Miami condo before the collapse

The Miami condo before the collapse 

The South tower collapsed back in June, leaving 98 dead

The South tower collapsed back in June, leaving 98 dead 



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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