Family and friends describe what is missing from a Florida condo collapse

Two days after the spectacular collapse of a Miami condominium building on 12 stories, families around the globe were left with waning hopes and growing fears.

Family and friends describe what is missing from a Florida condo collapse

At least four people were reported to have been killed, and over 150 others remain unaccounted for. Rescuers continued digging through the rubble from the Champlain Towers South, Surfside. The building housed an international mix of South American immigrants, foreign retirees, and Orthodox Jews. They were all accompanied by anxious loved ones around the world.

These are some stories about the missing:


Tzvi and Ingrd “Itty” Ainsworth celebrated the birth of their two new grandchildren. Their son in South Africa had a baby recently, and their son in Florida just days ago, Chana Harrel, their niece, told The Associated Press.

They are now in their 60s and lived for almost two decades in Australia before moving to South Florida to be close to their children. She said that seven of their children, including their daughter, were born to the couple.

"Everyone she met, ever in her lifetime, became her friend." Chana Wasserman wrote that everyone was treated equally in a Mother's Day blog to Itty last year. "The guy at laundromat, and the guy at the fruit market...

Ingrid was plagued by chronic pain, but it didn't make her feel any worse. She tried to concentrate on the positive. A sunny day. A long car ride would seem boring to others. Her daughter wrote that she saw it as an opportunity to catch up.

Wasserman wrote, "I know that I will never be in a position to match my mother’s pure enthusiasm for living but it's inspiring and inspiring to watch."

Itty's mother is a Holocaust survivor who lives in Miami Beach. She has cancer and doesn’t know about it.

"They didn’t tell her. Harrel said, "She's not well." Harrel said. It's absolutely horrible.



Both brothers, Gary Cohen and Brad Cohen, were medical doctors active in their communities. Brad Cohen was married with Soriya Cohen. She spent hours outside the condo building showing photos of her siblings to anyone who would listen.

"We need all the help we can get. It is what makes the difference between life or death for many people, including my husband, if he is still alive," she said to CBS News 4.

Dr. Brad Cohen, an orthopedic surgeon, was well-known for his expertise in sports medicine. One woman who called his office on Friday expressed sadness at the thought that Cohen's patients loved her. According to his website, he did his residency at State University of Stony Brook and received a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

His brother, Dr. Gary Cohen, was a doctor at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, Alabama. He was also active in the local synagogue.

He spent many years caring for our Veterans. According to John Merkle (Director of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center), "He is part of our Tuscaloosa VAMC Family and our thoughts, prayers and are with them during this incredibly difficult period."



Bonnie Feldman, Bonnie's cousin, stated that Bonnie and David Epstein shared unit 901 with Chase.

David was a successful retired real estate investor who loved to kite surf and jet ski. They have a son, who lives in New York.

Feldman stated that the family is small.

Feldman, who resides in Los Angeles, said that Bonnie was "like my sister growing up." "She took me to see my first concert."

He stated that he was devastated and is praying for a miracle.

He said, "I hold out hope." "I went to work to distract myself from it. "But no sleep."



Champlain Towers had been Hilda Noriega's home for over 20 years. Six years after her husband's death, the 92 year-old was ready for a new adventure.

Sally Noriega (her daughter-in law) stated that she was going to move her into her home, and that her condo was for sale.

Sally Noriega stated that her mother-in law was very active and loved being close to the ocean. She said that when you lose your spouse, you want to be surrounded with family... she wanted to spend more quality time with her grandchildren and family.

Hilda Noriega's granddaughter-in-law described her "an extremely loving, sweet person" who built a life and raised a family in the U.S. after moving from Cuba in 1960.

Carlos Noriega and Sally Noriega rushed to the scene at the collapse.

They found a reminder of Hilda Noriega's strong relationship with her church group. Carlos Noriega saw an envelope under his shoe as they tried to keep hope alive amid the rubble.

Sally Noriega stated that the card was addressed to Hilda on the outside. The card featured butterflies and was a birthday card signed and addressed by her prayer group. They had taken her out to celebrate her birthday, and all of them signed the card.

Sally Noriega stated that the family isn't sure what to do with the card discovered amid so much chaos and debris.

She said, "We are a family that believes in God." "We'll leave it at that."



According to a family friend, Myriam Caspi Notkin (81) and Arnold "Arnie", 87 (87), were married around 20 years ago, after they lost their spouses.

"They were a happy and healthy couple. Fortuna, a North Miami Beach Commissioner who grew up alongside Myriam's three daughters, said that they are hoping for a miracle. Notkin recalled their friendship 40 years ago, when they met up again as adults.

Smukler stated that Myriam always made a point to tell me how wonderful my mother was every time she saw me. She was thoughtful.

Smukler was also acquainted with Arnie Notkin back in his time as a physical education teacher at Leroy D. Fienberg Elementary school in South Beach, in the 1960s. His engaging personality was complemented by a rich story-telling ability.

She said, "He had students who were famous and he had me tell him about them, how their good or bad,"



According to Monika Mucarsel Gressier, Maria Theresa is a "perfect match" and supports Ricky Rovirosa.

They have two children, who they raised in South Miami. The couple also used their Surfside condo as a summer escape. Gressier met Maria Theresa through work while she was in California.

Gressier wrote in a text that "We became instant buddies." "She was the reason I felt secure and supported in accepting a move to Miami. Maituca was my family support. She always provided guidance and resources to me and others as we navigated through Miami.

Gressier described Ricky's charm and his wife as "stunningly gorgeous" both inside and outside.

Gressier wrote, "When I think about them, I think back to one of my favourite memories of the time I watched them salsa dance and how loving they were to each other." "I pray and hope that they will survive the tragedy. I know their strength and I also know their incredible love for their daughters and their family.



Cassondra Billedeau–Stratton, 40 years old, has been an actress, model, and Pilates instructor. Her husband, said that she brings "a vivacious love for life to all she does."

Michael Stratton from Colorado, a Democratic strategist, said that Cassie is a wife and mother, and a true friend to many. Denver's KMGH-TV he said that he and his wife spent a lot of time during the coronavirus epidemic in their condo, which they had owned for four-years.

According to Stephanie Fonte, Billedeau Stratton enjoyed biking and walking along the beaches, according to her sister. She would often ask them to pose on the beach near flowers or for photos when they were together.

Michael Stratton stated that he and his wife were calling each other on the phone when it happened.

He said, "She told me that the building was shaking."



Ilian Naibryf, a member of the University of Chicago's Jewish community since his arrival three years ago. Rabbi Yossi Brackman of the school’s Rohr Chabad said that Ilian has been active in the Jewish community ever since.

Naibryf was just finishing his junior year and served as president of Chabad House's student body for the past one year. His parents said that he was in Florida with his girlfriend to attend the funeral of a friend who died from COVID-19.

Brackman stated, "He's a great guy. He's very friendly. Always has a smile on the face. And he's just an all-around good-liked person."

Brackman stated that the Rohr Chabad community was disillusioned but optimistic.

He said, "Our message is one that encourages hope and we encourage all to pray and be kind during this difficult time for many people." "We believe in miracles and have seen them, and we hope to see them again," he said.


This report was contributed by Travis Loller, Travis Loller, Colleen Stlevin, Don Babwin, Don Babwin, Colleen in Denver, Don Babwin, Don Babwin, Denise Lavoie, in Richmond, Virginia, Kelli Kelly in Miami, and Holly Ramer, Concord, New Hampshire.

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