Four more victims who were pulled from the rubble of the Surfside building collapse Wednesday have been identified. Two of them are children.
The victims are Lucia Guara, 10, Emma Guara, 4, Anaely Rodriguez, 42, and Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21.
The Guara sisters and their mother, Anaely Rodriguez, are the last three members of the Guara family to be recovered from the scene. Marcus Guara, Rodriguez’s husband and the father of Lucia and Emma, was found dead on Saturday.
In photos on Facebook, Guara and Rodriguez posted dozens of photos of their girls.
The children held hands and buckets of sand on the beach. They stood in the ocean and let their hair blow in the wind. They wore matching pink dresses on a Marco Island beach vacation. They held up the “U” and wore orange and green to root for the University of Miami, where their father studied economics.
Marcus Guara was proud of his daughters.
In a November 2020 Facebook post he wrote about how Lucia asked him to mail a letter for her, which was addressed to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
She had stuffed the envelope with her piggy bank savings from birthdays and from lost teeth because “they need it more than I do,” he wrote.
“As a Dad, my sense of pride was overwhelming, but knew this gesture couldn’t end there,” he wrote.
For several years, the family had attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, just three blocks from their condo building.
On Sunday, in front of a crowd of about 70 parishioners, Father Juan Sosa listed the names of church members who were reported by friends and family as missing in the collapse, including the Guara family, during a particularly somber Mass.
Lucia made her first communion at the church in 2019. Young Emma was baptized there in 2016.
Lucia’s friends gathered Monday night near her photo at the memorial wall. They hugged, cried and laughed in a mess of emotions children shouldn’t have to process.
“She was tall, so sweet,” said Andres Castaneda on Monday. He straddled the line between hope and stark realism, correcting adjusting his tenses to reflect the chance that Lucia might make it.
“She is so sweet. Is. Maybe. Maybe.”
Earlier Wednesday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that four victims had been found. By the evening press conference, Levine Cava announced that two children had been recovered
In total, six bodies were recovered Wednesday. Two people have not yet been identified.
The death toll now stands at 18. Rescuers continued the difficult task of sifting through the mound of debris Wednesday night.
There are still 145 people missing.
The 12 victims who had already been identified are: Hilda Noriega, 92; Marcus Joseph Guara, 52; Frank Kleiman, 55; Michael Altman, 50; Leon Oliwkowicz, 80; Luis Bermúdez, 26; Ana Ortiz, 46, Bermúdez’s mother; Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74; Stacie Fang, 54,; Anthony Lozano, 83; Gladys Lozano, 79, and Manuel LaFont, 54.
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