New Jersey

New Jersey Couple Missing in Florida in Wake of Partial Building Collapse

NBC Universal, Inc.

While dozens of families in the Miami area are left to hope and pray for good news regarding family members and loved ones still unaccounted for, that concern stretches all the way up to New Jersey as well.

A married couple from the Ocean County town of Lakewood are believed to be missing in the wake of the catastrophic partial collapse of the building in Surfside. A neighbor said that the pair left for vacation just a couple of days ago, and was supposed to stay for a week, so it was still early in their trip.

"They went for vacation two days ago, and they left us their key in order to bring in their mail. We don't know what happened now," said Esty Goldberg, who said she lives right next door to the husband and wife. "They are the most wonderful, nicest people around. It's just so sad, I just hope we find them so soon."

Neighbors said dozens of people went to a nearby synagogue Thursday morning for a special service to pray for the couple, asking for a "miracle."

"If possible that there's a good ending to this, we pray for the good ending. We believe that God could do miracles," said one neighbor. "We typically don't pray for miracles. We appreciate that God can do miracles."

Down in Atlantic City, the collapse hits home for Fire Chief Scott Evans for a different reason: It brings back painful memories of the deadly Tropicana garage collapse in Atlantic City in 2003, where four people died and more than 30 others were hurt.

"A lot of things come to mind as a first responder, you want to go in there and try to rescue people, but also try to keep your people safe doing it," Evans said. "When you look at steel and concrete that is just in the collapse pile, you know that the victims are in there. It's just these things are through your mind that you want to get in there as fast as you possibly can."

Contact Us