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Miami towers collapse: The last victim identified in the rubble

The family of the last unaccounted-for victim of the deadly Florida apartment building collapse says her remains have been found and identified.

The discovery ends a weeks-long wait for the family of Estelle Hedaya, 54, who had been missing since the building she was in collapsed on 24 June.

Her brother, Iggy Hedaya, told US media that local New York police broke the news to the family on Monday.

Her discovery brings the death toll from the collapse disaster to 98.

Search teams spent weeks looking for victims in the rubble, but declared on Friday that their search was finally over. At that point, Estelle Hedaya was still nowhere to be found.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said Monday that law enforcement volunteers continue to “carefully and meticulously sift through” the millions of pounds of rubble at the second site, looking for remains and personal items.

“We have done everything we can to bring closure to these families, and I am particularly proud that thanks to these tireless efforts, we have finally been able to bring closure to all those who have reported their loved ones missing,” she told reporters.

The number of missing people was initially put at 159, but police lowered that figure after weeks of checking reports.

Authorities said the 12-story Champlain Towers South building, where it was located, was being treated as a crime scene.

The cause of the collapse of the 40-year-old building is still unknown, but a 2018 report had found structural problems in the building on the coast.

All but one of the victims were found dead in the rubble, and one of them died in hospital.

The Associated Press reported that a Jewish funeral for Estelle Hedaya is to be held in New York on Tuesday.

Family and friends describe her as outgoing and fun-loving and say she enjoyed traveling and trying new things, such as salsa dancing.

Other victims of the disaster include the seven-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter, a 92-year-old grandmother and the sister of the First Lady of Paraguay.

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