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Remains of Final Victim of Condo Collapse Identified

Estelle Hedaya is disaster's 98th victim
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2021 4:18 PM CDT
Final Victim of Florida Condo Collapse Identified
This June 1, 2021 photo provided by Liz Segel shows Estelle Hedaya at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.   (Liz Segel via AP)

(Newser) – Two days after firefighters' search for bodies at the site of the Surfside condo collapse officially ended, the remains of the disaster's final victim have been identified. Ikey Hedaya tells CBS Miami he was notified by police Monday that the remains of his older sister, 54-year-old Estelle Hedaya, had been found and identified. She is the 98th and last victim of the June 24 building collapse to be identified. Ikey Hedaya told the AP last week that he had submitted his DNA to investigators and visited the site of the collapse. Friends described Estelle Hedaya as outgoing, with a love of travel. Her close friend Linda March was the 97th victim to be identified.

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Ikey Hedaya said his Jewish faith had helped him deal with the loss and he urged relatives of other victims to try to "shift to the positive" after grieving. “Let it all out, don’t fight it. But then pray for the strength to start moving forward,” he said. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava welcomed the fire department's urban search-and-rescue team back to their base, NBC Miami reports. "To each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart, you have shown the world what superheroes look like," Levine Cava said, praising their tenacity and dedication. (Read more Florida condo collapse stories.)

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