Watch CBS News

Estelle Hedaya, Last Victim Of Surfside Condo Collapse Identified

SURFSIDE (CBSMiami) – The last victim of the Surfside condo collapse has been identified.

Ikey Hedaya told CBS4 News that officers from the New York Police Department came to their home on Monday to inform them that the remains of his sister, 54-year-old Estelle Hedaya, had finally been found, more than a month  after the deadly collapse. She was the 98th and final victim removed from the rubble.

Estelle Hedaya Building-Collapse-Miami-Last-Victim
This June 1, 2021 photo provided by Liz Segel shows Estelle Hedaya at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Ikey Hedaya is still waiting for closure almost a month after the Surfside condo collapse. He has given his DNA, talks frequently with the medical examiner and even reluctantly visited the collapse site to see for himself what is being done to find his big sister. Fifty-four-year-old Estelle Hedaya appears to be the only missing victim yet to be identified after the June 24 collapse. (Liz Segel via AP)

The Hedaya family lives in Midwood, Brooklyn where her remains will be flown for a Jewish funeral followed by Shiva.

Her 47-year-old younger brother said her identification finally ends a torturous four-week wait for Hedaya's family. He had given DNA samples and visited the site twice to see the search efforts for himself.

WATCH: Surfside Condo Collapse Recovery Update


"It really means the world to be able to have closure for all of those missing their loved ones. I am so very grateful for the tremendous work here that was done to make sure that every family could have that closure," said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

On Friday, two locally-based Urban Search and Rescue teams demobilized and headed home from the Surfside site as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officially transitioned the search and recovery effort to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

The site where the Champlain Towers South condo once stood, has been mostly swept flat, the rubble and debris moved to a Miami warehouse where Miami-Dade Police continue to search for personal items.

Search teams spent weeks battling the hazards of the rubble, a recurring fire, and Florida's stifling summer heat and thunderstorms as they went through more than 14,000 tons of broken concrete and rebar before finally declaring the mission complete.

Meanwhile, it's still unclear what will happen at the collapse site. A judge presiding over several lawsuits filed in the collapse aftermath wants the property sold at market rates, which would bring in an estimated $100 million or more. Some condo owners want to rebuild, and others say a memorial should be erected to remember the dead.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.