CHICAGO (CBS) — University of Chicago student Ilan Naibryf, who has been missing since the collapse of the Champlain Towers condo building in Surfside, Florida, has been confirmed to be among the dozens of people who were killed.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced Friday afternoon that 14 additional victims had been recovered, bringing the total number of deaths to 78. Sixty-two people remain unaccounted for.READ MORE: Ed's Driveway: Ford Bronco
University of Chicago officials on Friday confirmed Naibryf was among the dead. He and his girlfriend, Deborah Berezdivin, were staying at the condo building at the time of the collapse on June 24.
— The University of Chicago (@UChicago) July 9, 2021
“The University is profoundly saddened to lose this member of our community. We send our heartfelt condolences to Ilan’s family, friends, and the many who watched news reports that he was missing. We all had hoped that Ilan would be found safe. The news of his passing is incredibly painful,” University of Chicago Provost Ka Yee C. Lee and Dean of Students in the University Michele Rasmussen wrote in a message to the school on Friday. “Ilan was a scholar, entrepreneur and admired campus leader. The second person in his family to attend the College, he was a physics major with a minor in molecular engineering and was active within the campus community. He also was co-founder and CEO of STIX Financial, a 2021 College New Venture Challenge finalist, served as president of the Chabad House student board, was a former member of the men’s track and field team, and was active in recreational soccer. He will be greatly missed.”
Naibryf’s freshman roommate, Jon Zaghloul, was one of many close friends left stunned by the news that Naibryf and his girlfriend were in the condo when a wing of the building collapsed.
“Life was normal a few seconds before it happened then all of a sudden they’re just rusted out of their room and. A building collapses, and who knows where they are in the now,” said Zaghloul.
Naibryf was visiting family in Surfside at the time of the collapse.
“He was supposed to be at my house today. He was supposed to come in from Miami and stay at my house this weekend,” friend Morgan Benmoshe said the day after the collapse.
Benmoshe played soccer with Naibryf in Israel, and they trained together in Los Angeles. He said Naibryf’s personality set him apart from others.
“The whole world loves him. You cannot not love him. If you met him, there’s no way someone would be like I don’t love him,” he added.
At least three other people with Chicago area ties were killed in the collapse, and another is still among the missing.
Loyola University confirmed missing alumnus Juan Mora was among the dead.READ MORE: 3 People Shot In North Austin
The university posted a message on its alumni Facebook page overnight saying:
“We are devastated to hear that Loyola alumnus, Juan Mora, lost his life in the Surfside condo collapse. Juan was a cherished and active member of the Loyola community, and we pray for his family, friends, and colleagues during this extraordinarily difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the Surfside tragedy.”
Mora was visiting his parents at their home in Champlain Towers when the building came tumbling down.
Mora, the manager of the East Coast road salt distribution business in Chicago’s Morton headquarters, graduated from Loyola in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in international business.
He was visiting his parents, Juan Mora Sr. and Ana Mora, at their home in the Champlain Towers.
Morton Salt plans to make a $25,000 donation to a local agency to assist with relief efforts and support services.
An elderly couple with Chicago ties also was among the dead.
Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74, and Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, who came to Surfside from Venezuela, were found among the rubble days after the collapse. One of their daughters, Leah Fouhal, lives in Chicago, and they were active in Chicago’s Jewish community.
CBS Miami also confirmed that River Grove native Richard Augustine is also unaccounted for after the collapse.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett on Thursday quoted a fire official as saying crews will not stop until they’ve gotten to the bottom of the pile and recovered every victim.
Every victim recovered is also being handled with extreme care and compassion. There are rabbis and other faith leaders embedded in the operation so specific prayers and protocols can be followed to honor both the faith traditions and the integrity of the investigation.
It will be a long and difficult process.
“I see a lot of emotion, I see a lot of people working hard, I see the same intensity now as I did 15 days ago,” said Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.
The painstaking search for survivors shifted to a recovery effort at midnight Wednesday after authorities said they had come to the agonizing conclusion that there was “no chance of life” in the rubble.MORE NEWS: Lollapalooza Now Requiring Masks In Tents And Indoors For All Attendees
Meanwhile, authorities are launching a grand jury investigation into the collapse. And at least six lawsuits have been filed by families.