The remains of the last victim of a deadly apartment building collapse in Miami, Florida have been discovered and identified, according to her relatives.
For the family of 54-year-old Estelle Hedaya, who had been missing since her building fell on June 24, the finding puts an end to a weeks-long search.
Ikey Hedaya, her brother, informed US media that the news was given to their family by local New York police on Monday.
Her death increases the total number of people killed in the collapse tragedy to 98.
After weeks of searching the debris for casualties, rescue crews announced on Friday that their hunt had come to an end. Estelle Hedaya’s whereabouts were still unknown at the moment.
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said Monday that police volunteers were still sifting through millions of pounds of debris at a backup location searching for bodies and personal belongings.
“We have done everything possible to bring closure to the families and I am especially proud that through these tireless efforts we were able at last to bring closure to all those who reported missing loved ones,” she told reporters.
The number of individuals missing was originally estimated to be as high as 159, but after weeks of reviewing accounts, authorities reduced that number.
The location of the 12-story Champlain Towers South skyscraper is being handled as a crime scene, according to officials.
The reason for the 40-year-old building’s collapse is unclear, although a 2018 study identified structural issues with the oceanfront structure.
Except for one, all of the victims were found dead in the debris, with one victim dying in hospital.
According to the Associated Press, Estelle Hedaya will be buried at a Jewish cemetery in New York on Tuesday.
Her relatives and friends characterized her as gregarious and fun-loving, as well as someone who enjoyed traveling and trying new activities, such as salsa dancing.
The tragedy also claimed the lives of a seven-year-old Miami firefighter’s daughter, a 92-year-old grandmother, and the sister of Paraguay’s first lady.