The grandson of an elderly couple, who are still missing after the Florida condo collapse last week, has claimed that he is being bombarded with eerie and mysterious calls from the landline inside their sunken condo. Jake Samuelson and his family claim to have received more than a dozen calls so far from the apartment of his grandparents Arnie, 87, and Myriam, 81, Notkin.
According to reports, Samuelson received the first call just hours after the building collapsed. However, every time he picked up the call, no one was on the other end. More than 156 are still mission, with nine people confirmed dead after the 12-storey Miami condo collapsed on Thursday.
Samuelson told local outlet WBLG that he and his family have so far received at least 16 calls from the number of his missing grandparents, with the first coming as early as 9:50 pm on Thursday. However, when he picked up, there was no one on the other end.
The grandson said that when the first call came they weren't much surprised. "We were all sitting there in the living room, my whole family, Diane, my mother, and we were just shocked," Samuelson told the outlet. "We kind of thought nothing of it because we answered, and it was static."
The Notkins are among the 156 people still missing after Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium building in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, collapsed in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Both of Samulson's grandparents are in their 80s. Their landline phone sits next to their bed where they sleep, the report further stated.
The first call didn't bother Samuelson much but on Friday they received 15 more calls. This time they were a bit concerned because no one replied from the other side. They then informed the police about the mysterious calls. The family is now waiting to hear from detectives about the bizarre and gut-wrenching calls, Samuelson added.
"We are trying to rationalize what is happening here, we are trying to get answers," he told the TV station.
The Notkins are well regarded in their community, with Myriam a former banker and real estate agent and Arnie a retired and beloved physical education teacher and pee wee football coach. North Miami Beach Commissioner Fortuna Smukler, who grew up with the Notkins' three daughters, told the Miami Herald that she began losing hope when she learned that the couple lived in apartment No. 302.
"At this point it would be a miracle ... we're hoping for a miracle," she said. That said, if the Notkins are found dead, it will further deepen the mystery about the eerie calls.
The report of the strange phone calls came as the death toll has continued to mount three days on from the tragedy. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told a news conference Sunday afternoon that more bodies had been pulled from the wreckage, while one person died in hospital.
"As of today, one victim passed away in the hospital, and we've recovered eight more victims on-site, so I am confirming today that the death toll is at nine. My deepest condolences to the friends, the families, the communities of those who lost their lives," she said.