The remains of 11 people have been found after the collapse of a 12-story beachfront condominium building in Florida, authorities have said. The Associated Press has been reporting brief descriptions of the dead and the missing.
Miami-Dade police released the names and ages late Monday of three men who died in the collapse. They said the body of Marcus Joseph Guara, 52, was discovered on Saturday but only identified on Monday. Authorities say they found on Monday the remains of Michael David Altman, 50, and Frankie Kleiman, 55.
On Sunday, police identified the remains of Leon and Christina Oliwkowicz, an elderly couple from Venezuela with ties to Jewish communities in Florida and Chicago. They also found the bodies of Luis Bermudez, a young man with muscular dystrophy, and his mother, Ana Ortiz, who were from Puerto Rico.
Authorities said 150 other people remain unaccounted for as rescuers search through the rubble of Champlain Towers South. Among them are Linda March, whose penthouse apartment was ripped apart, and five members of an Argentine family.
NICOLE LANGESFELD AND LUIS SADOVNIC
Nicole Langesfeld and her husband Luis Sadovnic were just starting their lives together after moving into an apartment on the eighth floor of Champlain Towers South earlier this year after getting married five months ago, her brother Martin Langesfeld told The Associated Press.
Sadovnic proposed to Langesfeld on December 24, 2020, on the beach in front of the building. The Jewish couple married one month later in a private civil ceremony because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Nicole Langesfeld is a commercial litigator whose family is from Argentina, but she was born in the U.S. Sadovnic is an entrepreneur from Venezuela. The apartment where they lived was owned by Sadovnic’s grandfather. They met when they studied at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
“I know she is fighting,” Martin Langesfeld said of his missing sister.
Nicole Langesfeld, 26, is a bilingual associate in the Miami office of Reed Smith. She began to work as a summer associate in 2018 and one year later was hired as a full-time lawyer. Her practice focuses on litigating and settling insurance coverage on behalf of policyholders. She was a member of the University of Miami Business Law Review.
Nicky, as she is known to friends and family, loves animals. She has a guinea pig named Kali and two dogs, Capo and Zoey.
Sadovnic loved playing golf early on the weekend with his friends before joining Langesfeld on the beach, where they listened to reggaeton, lay out in the sun and swam in the ocean, said Noah Goldberg, a co-worker of Langesfeld. At night, they enjoyed going out to different restaurants and exploring.
Hugh Lumpkin, a partner in the insurance recovery group where Nicole worked, described Langesfeld as a very smart and hard-working lawyer. He said that it is a loss that goes beyond business.
“We are still sad to the bone,” Lumpkin said. “We miss her every minute of every day.”
Co-workers said she was always smiling, and after working all day long liked to walk on the beach with her dogs. Last week, she began a fitness challenge of 30 minutes of exercise every day on her balcony.
Goldberg said Langesfeld was very funny and always caring for her friends. On Wednesday, Goldberg didn’t feel well and Langesfeld called and texted him at 9:45 p.m. to ask how he was feeling. The building collapsed a few hours later.
Ana Barton, a colleague who used to socialize with Langesfeld, said she and others still have hope she will be found alive.
“She is the most beautiful person,” Barton said.
RUSLAN MANASHIROV AND NICOLE DORAN-MANASHIROV
They were transplants to Florida, where they met, fell in love and got married last month in Fort Lauderdale in a sunny outdoor ceremony. They moved into a seventh-floor unit in the Champlain South Towers, enthralled with the beachside view.
“They were so happy,” Valery Manashirova, brother of Dr. Ruslan Manashirov, told WABC-TV in New York. “It was a beautiful wedding and they were just starting their lives.”
Loved ones are anxiously awaiting news about Dr. Manashirov and his wife, Nicole Doran-Manashirov. They are among those missing following the collapse of the condominium building in Surfside, Florida.
The couple had to postpone their wedding date three times due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also affected their work as medical professionals.
Ruslan Manashirov is a neurologist and family doctor at ClareMedica of South Miami while Doran-Manashirov, who previously lived in South Park, Pennsylvania, is a physician assistant in the emergency department at Aventura Hospital in Aventura, a city near Surfside.
“She worked indescribable hours during the pandemic,” a family friend, Wendy Kays, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “She never backed out on her duties.”
Ruslan Manashirov 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.”
Valery Manashirova recalled that when he woke up Thursday, his father called him over to the television, which was showing news of the collapse.
“It just felt like a bad dream,” he said.
Argentine Graciela Cattarossi is a beloved mother and friend who works as an independent photographer for hotels, magazines, banks and airlines from different parts of the world, said Kathryn Rooney Vera, a friend who has known Cattarossi since 2008.
The most important thing in her world, however, is her 7-year-old daughter Stella.
Cattarossi, 48, a single mother, lived in Champlain Towers South with Stella and her own parents, Graciela and Gino Cattarossi. All four were missing Monday, along with Cattarossi’s sister, Andrea, an architect in Pilar, Argentina, who was visiting.
Vera said Cattarossi is a dedicated mother whose devotion to her child is “unparalleled.” She also described her as a “very hard worker, a beautiful person and beloved by everyone.”
Cattarossi and Vera were exchanging text messages on Wednesday night, just hours before the building collapsed. The photographer took professional photos of Vera’s fourth pregnancy years ago and presented them as a gift to celebrate what they believed would be Vera’s last child.
“She was happy to know that I was pregnant again,” said Vera. “We are devastated by what happened.”
Vera said that Graciela Cattarossi has lived in Miami for decades.
ANA ORTIZ and LUIS BERMUDEZ
Luis Bermudez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, had battled 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. They were identified among the 11 who died after the building collapsed Thursday.
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.”
In honor of Luis, family members on Monday laid flowers in the ocean at a beach near the site of the building collapse.
Ortiz, 46, had just gotten married to 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. Jay Kleiman and Nancy Kress Levin are still listed as missing.
Ortiz was described as a woman who was committed to giving her son the best possible life.
“She’s a rock star,” Garcia told the Herald. “And on top of that a super mom.”