Retired real-estate investor among dead in building collapse
A retired real-estate investor with Brooklyn ties is among the 27 people confirmed dead in Florida’s building collapse, kin and officials say.
David Epstein, 56, was pulled from the rubble Sunday, just two days after first-responders found his wife, 56-year-old Bonnie Epstein, in the debris, the Miami Herald said.
The couple has a son, Jonathan, 26, who lives in Brooklyn, the outlet reported.
“Heartbroken to share that both my parents’ remains have been recovered by the rescue teams in Miami,” Jonathan Epstein wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
“Thank you to everyone for your kind words over this impossible week,” he wrote. “My parents were really the best and it’s been so comforting to relive the joy of their lives through the testimony of friends and loved ones.
“Mom and Dad — I love you both so much, and I’m so so proud to be your son.”
The couple was planning a trip to New York to visit their son when they were killed, said their condo neighbor Jay Miller to The Washington Post.
Bonnie Epstein told Miller the trip was delayed because her husband suffered an arm injury and was still undergoing physical therapy, the neighbor said.
The Epsteins lived in a ninth-floor condo at Champlain Tower South in Surfside with their dog Chase and were home when the building collapsed shortly before 1:30 a.m. on June 24, burying nearly 150 people under tons of concrete.
Officials said 118 people remain unaccounted for as of Monday.
Richard Oller, a former business partner, said the Epsteins were obsessed with the water and cherished their waterfront condo, the Herald reported.
Oller said in a Facebook post after the collapse that David Epstein was a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and was a 17-year-old freshman when Oller took him on as an intern.
They were ultimately business partners and remained close friends.
Oller said he had spoken to Epstein just two days before the building fell.
“He and I agreed to connect at the Jersey Shore after July 4th,” Oller wrote on June 25, before Epstein was identified. “Maybe will take the jet skis out. Our Wednesday conversation wasn’t at all unusual.
“What makes this call unusual is my fear and believe that it was our last.”