Surfside condo collapse

Loyola Graduate's Body Identified in Recovery Effort of Surfside Condo Collapse

Emergency workers switched from rescue to recovery mode on Wednesday after 14 days pulling apart the rubble of the collapsed building, signaling the effort to find survivors was all but over

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Authorities say the body of a Loyola University graduate has been recovered and identified two weeks after the collapse of a condominium tower near Miami, Florida.

Juan Alberto Mora Jr., 32, was recovered from the site of the Surfside condo recovery effort on Wednesday, the Miami-Dade Police Department said in a statement identifying him the following day.

He was one of at least 64 people who died when the 12-story Champlain Towers South collapsed on June 24, officials say, with 76 people still potentially unaccounted for.

Mora graduated from Loyola University in 2011 and had worked at Morton Salt's Chicago headquarters since 2016 as manager of East Coast distribution for the company's road salt business.

"The unfolding news out of Miami with the condominium building collapse is shocking," Loyola said in a statement following the collapse last month. "We are stunned to learn Loyola University Chicago alumnus Juan Mora along with his mother and father are among the missing."

"Our thoughts, prayers and support are with their family, friends, and colleagues," the statement continued. "We and the entire Rambler community pray for their safe return and for all of the victims of this tragic event."

Morton Salt said the company was "shocked and deeply saddened" to learn Mora was among the missing, detailing plans to donate $25,000 to a local agency to assist in relief efforts related to the tragedy.

"The Morton Salt team remains hopeful for Juan, his family and the other victims of this tragedy and will keep them in our thoughts as rescue efforts continue," the company said.

Emergency workers switched from rescue to recovery mode on Wednesday after 14 days pulling apart the rubble of the collapsed building, signaling the effort to find survivors was all but over.

The news followed increasingly somber reports from emergency officials, who indicated they had been preparing families for the worst outcome.

At a news conference Wednesday evening, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called it an "extremely difficult decision."

"At this point we have truly exhausted every option available to us in the search and rescue mission," Levine Cava said.

Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Ray Jadallah told families at a private briefing Wednesday afternoon that the emergency crews would remove the rescue dogs and sound devices, but otherwise would continue to search through the rubble for the bodies of their relatives.

“Our sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure,” he said, as relatives sobbed in the background.

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