SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - A heartbroken community came together in Weston to pay tribute to a family that remains missing following the partial collapse of a condo building in Surfside.
7News cameras captured participants standing in the rain outside Fiorelli, a men’s wear store at Weston Town Center, Thursday night.
David Velasquez, whose mother Angela owns the store, said she and his father, Julio Velasquez, as well his sister Theresa, are among those still unaccounted for in the June 24 tragedy.
“My mom, my dad, Terry, my sister — I called her Terry because she didn’t like it — they lived that way, and that was to treat people kindly,” said David.
But despite the candles and the warm show of support more than 30 miles from the collapse site, David said he continues to hold on to hope.
“I’m not quite ready to eulogize my family, and I’m not going to do that today,” he said.
David said his sister had been visiting their parents at the time of the collapse and had been in town less than a day.
Angela has owned Fiorelli for two decades and was one of Weston Town Center’s first tenants.
“I wanted to tell my sister, ‘Look how many people love you. Look how many people are here,'” said Jorge Palacio, Angela’s brother.
“She was a very beautiful person. I can only tell you she was always – if I needed something, [she would say], ‘I’ll take care of it for you,'” said customer Mark Moldoff.
“I met her daughter a few times, too. She’s from [Los Angeles], and she came in, I think, the night before,” said family friend Jennifer Magers. “She was visiting her parents. She works for Live Nation, she was an executive at Live Nation.”
Faith leaders at the ceremony noted that each of the missing have a story and a history.
David said much of his family’s story took place at the shopping complex.
“I’ve had the sincere pleasure of being around a family that is extemely kind, joyous, very joyous. We laughed a lot,” he said, “and luckily, because of the way they are, we have very strong ties.”
As of Friday afternoon, 20 people have been confirmed dead, 128 people remain unaccounted for and 188 have been accounted for.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.