Theresa Velasquez had just flown into Miami from LAX on Wednesday night.
The 36-year-old works in Los Angeles as an executive at Live Nation, the entertainment company, but was visiting her parents. The Velasquezes — Julio, 67, and Angela, 60 — own an apartment on the third floor of Champlain Towers.
Theresa was looking forward to spending some down time with her parents, one of her friends told the Herald. But only a few hours after her arrival at 8777 Collins Ave., the condo building would be reduced to a mass of twisted metal and broken concrete.
Theresa, Julio and Angela Velasquez are among the 159 missing in Thursday’s collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside. Four people have been confirmed dead, including Stacie Fang, the mother of the teenage boy who was pulled from the rubble.
Theresa’s friends haven’t been able to get a hold of her since Wednesday. Her brother, David Velasquez, told the Washington Post that he hasn’t heard from either his sister or his parents since the collapse. Accompanied by his wife, toddler and three other family members, David flew down to Miami from New York, joining the throngs of relatives and friends desperate to hear from their loved ones.
“Julio and Angela are just the sweetest couple in the world; I have nothing but good things to say about them,” a former neighbor of the couple who asked to not be identified told the Herald. “They still own the house across the street. We just saw them a few months ago cleaning it out for their renters. We watched Theresa grow up there. It’s surreal.”
Julio and Angela moved to unit 304 at Champlain Towers several years ago, looking for a quiet place on the beach to spend their golden years, the same neighbor told the Post. Julio is retired, and Angela owns Fiorelli, a men’s boutique in Weston in Broward County, near Fort Lauderdale.
“We haven’t given up hope yet,” the neighbor told the Miami Herald. “We’re all hoping for a miracle.”
Carolina Fernandez, a relative of the Velasquezes, is organizing a gofundme to help the family through the tragedy.