While many families continue to look for their missing loved ones, one family says they have received 16 calls from a landline belonging to their grandparents, who are among the 156 people still missing after the Surfside condo complex collapsed.
Arnie and Myriam Notkin lived on the third level of the 12-story Champlain Towers South Condos, which collapsed inexplicably early Thursday morning.
Jake Samuelson, their grandson, said his mother had received calls from the Notkins’ landline phone, which they kept next to their bed, in the days since.
Samuelson told WPLG, “We are trying to rationalize what is happening here. We are trying to get answers.”
According to WPLG, Samuelson said his grandparents’ phone number had been displayed on his mother’s caller ID 16 times since Thursday. The first call, according to reports, came at 9:50 p.m. on Thursday, over 20 hours after the building collapsed.
Samuelson’s family was surprised to receive 15 additional calls from the Notkins on their caller ID when they returned from the reunion center on Friday morning. The calls, however, were answered by static rather than human voices.
“We were all sitting there in the living room; my whole family, Diane, my mother,” he recalled. “We were just shocked, and we kind of thought nothing of it because we answered, and it was static.”
According to WPLG, the family has not received any additional calls since Friday night.
The death toll had risen to nine people by Sunday morning, with four of them identified as Stacie Dawn Fang, 54; Antonio Lozano, 83; Gladys Lozano, 79; and Manuel LaFont, 54.
On Sunday, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told “Fox & Friends Weekend” that rescuers are dealing with a “luck issue” rather than a “resource issue.”
“They’ve come all the way from Mexico and even Israel to be here,” Burkett remarked. “We could use a little more luck,” he added.
PHONE CALLS FROM CONDO: A grandson says his family received more than two dozen telephone calls from his grandparents landline inside Champlain Towers Condo since the collapse. https://t.co/DvFuKdjovg
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) June 26, 2021