Tuscaloosan praying for good news on friend missing in condo collapse

Estelle Hedaya

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson

As rescue crews continue to search for survivors after a Miami condo collapsed last week, one Tuscaloosa woman is turning to prayer in the hopes that her friend is found.

Tuscaloosa resident Krista Poole said that her friend, Estelle Hedaya, is among the more than 150 people missing after half of the 12-story building collapsed on Thursday, June 24.

“Anybody who was going to Miami wanted to make sure that Estelle knew you were coming because she would hook you up and tell you exactly what you needed to do while you were there,” Poole said.

Poole, whose family owns Hudson-Poole Fine Jewelers, said she knew Hedaya through the jewelry industry, as the Miami resident is currently employed by Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers International.

“She is just wonderful. She never met a stranger,” Poole said. “Anytime you would go to a jewelry show, she was just the life of the party,” Poole said.

Poole said that while it is hard for her to wrap her mind around the devastation, she is hoping for the best.

Thursday evening Poole said she struggled to fall asleep, thinking about when the last time she saw Estelle.

She said she’s staying hopeful and keeping up to date with the news. Her heart goes out to not only Estelle’s family, but the other families involved.

“Just watching the news conference this morning before I came to work, it was so reassuring that the mayor and everyone is doing everything that they can, and they are not going to leave anything undone,” Poole said. “They were still saying that it was a rescue effort.”

At least 11 people have been confirmed dead as of June 29, but Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cara said the search will continue as officials work toward determining the exact cause of the collapse.

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