Among the nearly 150 residents still missing since the collapse of Surfside condominium Champlain Towers South is 2019 University of Miami School of Law graduate Nicole Langesfeld.
Langesfeld, 26, lived in apartment 804 of the 13-story complex with her husband of six months, Luis Sadovnic. Family members have not been able to reach them since June 24, when at 1:30 a.m. the beach-front condo inexplicably crashed to the ground.
Andrew Dawson, the law school’s vice dean for academic affairs, taught Langesfeld for two semesters in 2018. He says she was a passionate student and bright presence in the classroom.
“She was one of those students who you enjoy teaching because she actually had fun in the classroom, and did well,” Dawson said. “She was really bright, but she was also just a bright presence in the classroom because she brought joy to it.”
Langesfeld graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor and was a member of UM’s Business Law Review, according to her biography on law firm Reed Smith’s website. She is a commercial litigator at the firm’s Miami office and a member of the Insurance Recovery Group. Her cases typically involve settling insurance practice disputes on behalf of policyholders, Reed Smith says.
Langesfeld and Sadovnic met while studying at the University of Florida and moved to Miami after graduating in 2016 with a 4.0 GPA. They moved to Champlain Towers South earlier this year. Sadovnic proposed to Langesfeld in December on the beach in front of the now-destroyed building, her brother Martin Langesfeld told the Associated Press.
The couple were married one month later in a private civil ceremony because of concerns over COVID-19 restrictions. They are among the dozens of Jewish Surfside residents missing since the building collapsed.
Martin Langesfeld said he has strong faith that his sister and Sadovnic would be rescued as the search entered its fifth day Monday.
“It’s the fifth day. I have not lost any hope or faith,” the 23-year-old real estate agent said in an interview with WPLG Local10. “I know she’s still fighting.”
The death toll rose to 16 people Wednesday morning, after search teams recovered four additional bodies in the debris pile. Langesfeld and Sadovnic are still missing, along with at least 147 other Surfside residents.