Last Florida Condo Collapse Victim Identified, Relative Says

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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The identity of the final victim from the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse was confirmed by authorities, a relative of the victim said Monday.

Authorities confirmed that the remains of 54-year-old Estelle Hedaya, pulled from the rubble of the Surfside condo that collapsed more than a month ago, have been identified, Estelle’s brother Ikey Hedaya told The Associated Press (AP). Search and rescue operations were only recently able to conclude the search for victims of the June 24 condo collapse after removing large layers of debris that revealed dozens of victims’ bodies. Ultimately, the collapse claimed the lives of 98 individuals, according to The AP.

“She always mentioned God anytime she was struggling with anything,” Ikey told The AP of his sister. “She had reached a different level spiritually, which allowed her to excel in all other areas.”

Linda March, a 58-year-old friend of Estelle, was also among one of the last victims to be identified by authorities, the AP reported. Leah Sutton, a friend of both Estelle and March, paid tribute to the pair in a Monday statement, saying they were “forces to be reckoned with.”

“My two beautiful amazing fearless friends saved for last, have to believe there was a reason for them to be last,” Sutton said, according to The AP. “Estelle’s love of God was unbelievable and unwavering.” (RELATED: Victims Of Surfside Condo Collapse To Receive $150 Million Initial Compensation, Judge Says)

Estelle’s funeral has been scheduled for Tuesday, The AP noted.

Most of the rubble from the Champlain Towers South building that collapsed has been moved to a Miami warehouse where forensic scientists are still investigating the incident, the outlet reported. In all, search and rescue operators moved 14,000 tons of rubble prior to ending their search.

Authorities claim that there are no more victims left to find on the building’s grounds. Fire Chief Alan Cominsky also said that search and rescue crews were not able to find evidence that victims who were later found survived the initial collapse, according to The AP.