Family of couple missing in Florida condo collapse still getting calls
29th June 2021

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The family of the Florida grandparents missing in the aftermath of the Surfside building collapse told The Post Tuesday they are still getting mysterious phone calls from the couple’s landline — at least 20 since the catastrophe.

Dianne Ohayon said the family’s latest sliver of hope came early Monday, when her younger sister received a call from their parents, Myriam and Arnie Notkin.

“They’re coming in every day,” Ohayon, 56, said of the eerie calls.

“The last one I have knowledge about was Monday morning, a call came in at about 5:30 a.m. It was static. It’s the same thing every time.”

Ohayon said her nephew, Jake Samuelson, has contacted a Surfside police detective to find out how calls to her sister’s landline can happen as late as five days after the couple’s condo building collapsed Thursday. Some 150 people are still unaccounted for, while 11 others have been confirmed dead.

“There’s nobody on the line and it’s just static,” recalled Ohayon, who said she picked up one such call late Sunday. “And we wait and we just hang up because nothing changes.”

Ohayon said a caller ID unit on her 48-year-old sister’s phone indicates that the calls are coming from her parents’ line inside their apartment 302 in Champlain Towers South, where the phone was next to their bed.

“My nephew went on camera to try and find answers, raise awareness and maybe find out if other family members in the building were also receiving calls,” Ohayon said. “We were just not understanding what these phone calls were meaning. Maybe they were calling for help. We don’t know what they mean.”

It’s unclear where the investigation into the calls stood Tuesday, Ohayon said.

“We haven’t heard back,” she said. “We’re just waiting to hear, we don’t know.”

Ohayon said the family has gone to the building site and paid close attention to ongoing media briefings, but haven’t gotten any more clarity on the calls or the fates of the missing couple who’ve been married for 27 years. Arnie is 87 and Myriam is 81, Ohayon said.

At least 20 calls in total have been made from the couple’s landline since the building collapsed, according to Ohayon, who said she personally answered one.

“We didn’t know what to think or what was going on,” she said. “We’re just sitting and waiting. We feel hopeless at this point.”

Ohayon declined to provide her parent’s phone number, but said both the couple and her younger sister use AT&T as the telephone provider.

“They’re definitely being made,” Ohayon said of the calls while referring to her nephew’s interview with WPLG showing a log on the family’s Panasonic landline. “You can see the amount on the phone.”

Calls to the number Saturday were met with a busy signal, WPLG reported.

Police in Surfside, where Ohayon said her nephew contacted regarding the strange calls, referred The Post to cops in Miami-Dade County. Messages left with that agency and reps for AT&T were not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Ohayon said the family is trying to stay positive as they await more information.

“We’re still waiting, every day,” she told The Post. “The days are long, but we’re still hopeful and we’re just waiting. Every day is the same process.”

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