A Houston native, Manuel LaFont, has been identified as one of the deceased in the Florida condo collapse. The 54-year-old lived in an eighth floor apartment when the building collapsed, leaving many people dead and many missing.
The tragedy, which occurred at Champlain Towers South in Surfside on Thursday has claimed at least nine lives, and over 150 people are still missing.
According to KHOU Reports, LaFont had a 10-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter with his ex-wife Adriana LaFont.
Before LaFont’s body was found, Adriana, in a phone interview with KHOU, said she and her kids are staying strong.
“I see many people working on Manny’s side of the building. I know that the fire that was found this morning is not on Manny’s side.” Adriana added.
In a Facebook post made before his body was found, Adriana asked her friends to pray for him. On the post made to her Facebook account, Adriana wrote, “So many memories inside the walls that are no more today, forever engraved experiences in the heart.”
LaFont also coached his son’s baseball team, the Astros, at North Shore Park. LaFont was described as a proud and devoted father, a baseball fan, and a business consultant.
Three other victims who have been identified so far are Antonio Lozano, 83, his wife Gladys Lozano, 79, and Stacie Fang, 54.
Search is ongoing for the 150 people still missing. KHOU also reported that a 21-year-old Houston native was staying with LaFont when the building collapsed. Authorities fear the possibility of more people dead or trapped under the wreckage. Firefighters and first responders are doing all they can to recover the missing.