Some Surfside families want to search for more remains in the rubble

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Martin Langesfeld speaks at a press conference in Surfside on Tuesday calling for the preservation of rubble that may contain the human remains of victims of the Champlain South Towers collapse on June 24, including his sister Nicole. He also renewed calls for a memorial at the site.

On Tuesday, Martin Langesfeld waved an envelope from the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office as he stood outside the property once occupied by the Champlain Towers South condominium. Inside was a forensic report from July informing the Langesfeld family of the recovery of the remains of Nicole Langesfeld, who died in the Surfside building collapse on June 24.

“We have a very, very, very small percentage of my sister,” Langesfeld said. “My father had to sign a waiver stating that we have less than 50 percent. “

The search for more Nicole’s remains, and more remains of the 98 victims of the collapse is expected to continue, and the rubble deposited on much of the land at Doral is expected to be combed through again, Langesfeld and D. other family members at an emotional press conference. as they urged the county not to dispose of the debris.

The county is seeking permission from the judge overseeing the Surfside class action lawsuit to clean up an outdoor lot and remove debris deemed less important to engineers investigating the cause of the collapse. This material is stored in an indoor warehouse.

“Over the past several months, the county, through the Miami-Dade Police Department, has carefully and thoroughly sifted through the rubble on the outside grounds and is confident that all human remains and valuables have been recovered. Michael Goldberg, court-appointed receiver of the condominium association, wrote to Judge Michael Hanzman asking him to authorize the assignment.

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Monica Iken, founder of the September’s Mission foundation, holds a front page of the Miami Herald as she joins the Langesfeld family at the site of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse, demanding that the rubble be preserved and a memorial to the 98 victims is built. Pedro Portal

But elimination would be premature and unresponsive, Langesfeld said. Although some families have been allowed to visit the site, his family is among those who did not have access.

“Why can’t I see where you have my sister?” It is heartbreaking. It’s inhuman, ”Langesfeld said of Nicole, 26, a Miami lawyer and newlywed whose husband, Luis Sadovnic, 28, also died in the collapse. They were engaged on the beach and lived in her grandfather’s unit 804. “It’s amazing that after 100 days Miami-Dade decided to throw away human body parts. How is it possible that human bones, human fingers, human legs and heads are thrown in the trash? This is not the way to honor anyone.

David Rodan, whose 28-year-old brother Moises and three cousins ​​died in the 13-story building collapse in the middle of the night, said families were not ready to abandon the recovery process .

“It’s disgusting to think that there are still human remains inside and that they are disrespectful and just thrown out because the county said they put in enough effort,” Rodan said. “Well, it’s not hard enough if they haven’t found all the parts.”

Lisa Shrem, a rabbi from New York, came to Miami after the collapse and waited 33 days for her best friend Estelle Hedaya to be picked up. Hedaya’s remains were the last to be identified; his forearm was found at the Doral lot.

“We urge and call on Miami-Dade County to once again search the rubble in Doral,” Shrem said. “Bodies are precious and permanently sacred in the Jewish religion and in all religions. We demand that the county not get rid of the rubble until the investigation into the cause of the collapse is fully completed. “

In his petition to the judge, Goldberg said all interested parties will have access to the lot and will have the opportunity to raise objections to the disposal. The county would also allow any interested party to “assume physical and legal custody at its own expense and expense of such rubble that the party wishes to keep.”

Nicole Langesfeld’s father asked for the support of local elected officials to save the rubble and speed up the pace of the investigation.

“Where are the politicians now? Where is the dignity and respect? he said. “There are still mixed human remains. We are here to stay. No matter how long this fight may take, we are the voice of our loved ones who have died for no reason. “

The widow of a man who died in the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack said not only rubble sifting should continue, but no new buildings should be built at 8777 Collins Avenue.

“People did not have full bodies. They got pieces from their loved ones, ”said Monica Iken, whose husband Michael Patrick Iken died in Tower 2 on September 11. Her September’s Mission nonprofit group helps disaster survivors and the families of victims. “When they imploded the building, they went straight to this site that they want to build on, which we don’t do. We didn’t do it after 9/11, we don’t do it in America. We feel the energy of their souls here with us. We don’t build on our loved ones. We have lost unborn children, husbands, wives and generations of families. We must honor them.

Langesfeld, Rodan and Shrem renewed their calls for a memorial to be built on the Champlain South site instead of a new condo. The land is expected to be auctioned off in February as part of a compensation plan for co-owners whose homes have been destroyed and relatives of the victims. A developer from Dubai has made an offer of $ 120 million for the nearly 2-acre property.

“It will be a shame in history and a stain on this city if a condo is built over where 98 people died,” Rodan said. “We are asking the county, state and federal government to step in and help us secure this land to build a memorial.”

Rodan proposed various options, including exchanging the land at Champlain South with the land at the community center in the town of Surfside, or sharing 25 percent of the land at Champlain South for a memorial and allowing a larger building on the rest of the property. Put the questions on the city’s March ballot, he said.

“I think if we let the residents of Surfside vote they would be in favor of walking five more blocks to their new community center which has a memorial honoring their neighbors,” he said.

This story was originally published 26 October 2021 18:07.


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