Relatives of a 92-year-old grandmother is missing from the Florida condo collapse said they found family photos and a birthday card in the rubble

Michael Noriega holds up what he said was a family photograph owned by his 92-year-old grandmother that his family found in the debris.
Michael Noriega holds up what he said was a family photograph owned by his 92-year-old grandmother that his family found in the debris. CNN
  • Michael Noriega said his grandmother Hilda is among those missing after the Florida condo collapse.
  • He said his family arrived soon after the disaster and found her family photos in the rubble.
  • They also found a birthday card from her friends.
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A 92-year-old grandmother is among those missing after a 12-story Florida condo collapsed last week, and her family said they found her photographs and a birthday card in the debris.

Michael Noriega told CNN that he found family photos and a birthday card addressed to his grandmother, Hilda Noriega, in the rubble.

He said that he and his family arrived at the scene and found his grandmother’s belongings shortly after the collapse – around 2:30 a.m. last Thursday morning, he said. The building crumbled around 1:30 a.m.

He said he arrived when the collapse site was sealed off, but before a perimeter around the wider area was set up, so there was “debris everywhere.”

He said his father, Hilda’s son, “stepped on something and looked down and it happened to be this birthday card right here that was given to her by some of her friends just couple of weeks ago.”

He said they found photos soon after.

“And then not too much later we had other family members, I believe it was my mother, find two other pictures spread out amongst the debris.”

Noriega described what he saw was “almost like a scene of a disaster movie.”

He described his grandmother as “larger than life” and called her “so vibrant, full of energy, extremely independent.”

As of Monday morning, nine people have been confirmed dead, and more than 150 people are still missing.