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Couple who died in Surfside condo collapse had 'wanted to go together,' son says

The couple, who were married for nearly 59 years, were found side-by-side in their bed, the family told CBS News.
Credit: AP
Search and rescue personnel work atop the rubble at the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of people remain missing almost a week after it partially collapsed, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Two of the at least 18 people found dead in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South collapse hadn't wanted to live without the other, the couple's son told media outlets.

Gladys and Antonio Lozano were identified on June 26 by Miami-Dade Police. Antonio was 83-years-old and Gladys was 79-years-old. 

Their son, Sergio, told WPLG he had dinner with his parents just hours before the early morning collapse in Surfside. 

Sergio told WPLG he lives in one of the towers of the Champlain condo building right across from his parents. He and his wife were awakened by the collapse, but thought it was a windstorm or tornado, WPLG said. 

He told the news outlet he walked out to the balcony and turned to his wife, saying, “And I tell her, ‘It’s not there.’ And she’s yelling, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘My parents' apartment is not there, it’s gone!’ and I just ran downstairs."

According to CBS News, Sergio says the family was told Antonio and Gladys had been found still in bed by each other's side. 

The couple would've been married for 59 years on July 21, Sergio told WPLG. 

Sergio told CBS News Antonio left Cuba more than 60 years ago and moved to South Florida seeking political asylum. And, he saved up all his money to bring Gladys, his then-girlfriend, over to the U.S. and marry her. 

The couple raised their family in South Florida and eventually settled in the Champlain Towers South, CBS News reports. 

"My parents were yin and yang. 'I can't be without you,' they would say," Lozano told CBS News. "They always wanted to go together — and they did. That's the only peace I have from this."

Sergio told WPLG his parents had joked neither wanted the other to die first because they didn't want to live without each other. 

CBS News says on Saturday Sergio and the Lozano family will lay Antonio and Gladys to rest -- together. 

"I'm grateful. It's a love story. They couldn't be without each other. Thank you, God, for letting them go together," Lozano said. "I have their last memory and everything they taught me. I have closure."

Dozens of other families, however, are still waiting for closure. At least 18 people have been found dead and 147 people are still unaccounted for from the building collapse. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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