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Florida condo collapse: Death toll increases to 97; 4 identified

Mourners stop to pay respects to the missing victims at the memorial outside St. Joseph Catholic Church near the collapsed Champlain Towers condo in Surfside, Fla., on Wednesday. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

July 15 (UPI) -- As the death toll from a Surfside, Fla., condo collapse reached 97 on Thursday, local officials said they're nearing the end of their list of potentially unaccounted for victims.

A spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department told The Washington Post that they've confirmed 97 missing persons reports. WPLG-TV in Miami reported there are potentially eight unaccounted for people.

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The police department released the identities of four of the victims Thursday -- Valeria Barth, 14; Michelle Anna Pazos, 23; Myriam Notkin, 81; and Mihai Radulescu. Barth's remains were recovered Sunday, while the other three were found Friday.

Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told The Post it's possible some victims were never reported missing, so searchers are continuing to look for bodies.

"They're almost at the bottom to be able to say, 'we've reached rock bottom, we've searched every inch of this property,' and that's when we say, 'OK, we're done,'" he said.

County officials said that of the 97 bodies found, 90 had been identified and next of kin were notified for 88.

Though officials have yet to determine why the Champlain Towers South condo collapsed June 24, there had been years of reported structural problems at the building.

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