A woman, among those missing from the Champlain Towers South collapse, was on the phone with her husband moments after an outdoor swimming pool caved and then the line went dead.
Rescuers did not immediately find Cassondra “Cassie” Billedeau-Stratton, 40, who was staying on the fourth floor of the doomed Surfside, Florida condo complex, when she frantically called her husband and described the massive sink hole beneath their fourth-floor unit that had once been the building’s swimming pool.
“It was 1:30 a.m., I’ll never, never forget that,” husband Mike Stratton told the Miami Herald.
Stratton is a prominent Democratic political consultant and the couple is based in Colorado but they spent much of the pandemic quarantined at their Surfside condo, The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate reported.
Stratton last saw his wife, a native of Kenner, Louisiana, on Monday of last week when he left south Florida for a business trip to Washington, D.C.
“She was the most fun, vivacious person you could ever imagine,” Stratton told The Herald. “She was full of life, we were always doing something. There are so many interesting places to go in Miami and we took it all in.”
Friends and relatives of the missing Louisiana native said they’re still holding hope despite the days that have gone by.
“She is still missing in the rubble of the collapsed building on Florida. Please send her all the love, positive energy, warrior energy, survival and fighting energy you can muster,” friend Rashonda Gregory wrote on her Facebook page on Friday night.
“I’m still holding out hope that she is alive in there.”
Bianca Britton contributed.