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Family members of Paraguay's first lady confirmed dead in Surfside condo collapse

Rescue workers are now focused on finding remains instead of survivors and vowed to keep up their search until they cleared all the debris at the site.

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay — Paraguay's foreign minister said Thursday that rescuers had found in the rubble of a collapsed Florida condominium the bodies of Sophia López Moreira, the sister of Paraguay’s first lady Silvana Abdo, her husband Luis Pettengill and the youngest of their three children.

Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo told Paraguay’s ABC Cardinal radio station that the two other children and the family's nanny, Lady Luna, are still missing.

“We ask people for their solidarity and a prayer,” he said. “In the face of a tragedy, Paraguayan people must show their traditional solidarity.”

Juana Villalba, mother of Lady Luna, is in Miami awaiting news about her daughter. Villalba traveled along with her niece Lourdes Luna from their South American country.

The Paraguayans were among several Latin American citizens who were reported in the condominium when it collapsed in June 24th. Others in the building came from Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Credit: AP
Paraguay's first lady Silvana Lopez waves to photographers while holding the hand of her husband President Mario Abdo Benitez upon their arrival at the Air Force Base in Guatemala City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Lopez and Benitez is in Guatemala for the Nov 15-16 XXVI Iberoamerican Summit in Antigua. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Rescue workers are now focused on finding remains instead of survivors and vowed Thursday to keep up their search for victims until they cleared all the debris at the site.

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Earlier, a fire official told family members at a meeting that crews “will not stop working until they’ve gotten to the bottom of the pile and recovered every single of the families’ missing loved ones,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said at an evening news conference. He did not identify the official, but said the families were grateful.

Also on Thursday, the death toll rose to 64, with another 76 people unaccounted for, Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said earlier. Detectives are still working to verify that each of those listed as missing was actually in the building when it collapsed.