Florida building collapse’s last victim laid to rest in Brooklyn

The last victim identified in the deadly Florida condo collapse was remembered as “a shining star” Tuesday as she was laid to rest in her native Brooklyn.

A funeral was held for Estelle Hedaya, 54, at Magen David Synagogue in Bensonhurst, one day after authorities identified her as the 98th and final victim in the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

“A couple of weeks we were praying and praying that she would be found and found alive and we would see her and everything would be OK,” said her aunt, Regina Elo.

Ikey Hedaya hugs mother Linda Hedaya at the funeral service.
Ikey Hedaya hugs mother Linda Hedaya at the funeral service.
Paul Martinka
Estelle Hedaya was identified as the 98th victim in the Surfside tragedy.
Estelle Hedaya was identified as the 98th victim in the Surfside tragedy.
Liz Segel via AP
Rabbi David Ozeri speaks about the life of Estelle Hedaya.
Rabbi David Ozeri speaks about the life of Estelle Hedaya.
Paul Martinka

“As time passed, it became obvious that Estelle was lost. And we had to deal with it.”

“It’s been devastating to all of us,” Elo added. “Estelle was our shining star. She was the joy of all of our lives and we’re going to miss her terribly.”

Hedaya worked in New York’s jewelry industry until relocating to Florida about six years ago, moving to a sixth-floor condo at the Champlain tower, chabad.org said.

Authorities said she was home when the building collapsed shortly before 1:30 a.m. on June 24, trapping dozens in the rubble.

Linda Hedaya, center, in agony over losing her daughter.
Linda Hedaya, center, at the funeral for her daughter.
Paul Martinka
Estelle Hedaya
Estelle Hedaya was 54 at the time of her death in the Champlain Towers South collapse.
Twitter

First responders sifted through the rubble for weeks until concluding the recovery operation last week — removing 14,000 tons of concrete and debris from the ruins in just 33 days, but finding no survivors.

Hedaya’s remains were identified shortly after the site was cleared.

“Speak to Estelle’s friends and they’ll tell you,” Rabbi David Ozeri said during the funeral service Tuesday. “They’ll tell you she was a very spiritual person who loved God.”

Advertisement