(CBS4) – A prominent Colorado political strategist says he and others that loved his wife are “accepting the loss” of Cassondra Stratton. Cassie, as she was known to those close to her, remains unaccounted for in the a condo building collapse in Surfside, Florida.
Mike Stratton says the bravery of people who are conducting recovery efforts at the condo site “will never be forgotten.” He said he and other relatives were hoping for a miracle –that Cassie might be found alive. But now, although hope isn’t absolutely extinguished, they are remembering her spirit.
Mike released the following statement on Thursday.
“Cassie meant so much to so many, and everything to me. Hearts around the world are breaking as friends and family accept the loss of a bright and kind soul with an adventurous spirit. That spirit now lives in all our hearts as we will forever remember the love she gave and keep her memory alive in stories that make us laugh and smile. Her talent and determination allowed her to accomplish so much in her short life and leave a mark that will last the rest of ours. Cassie fiercely and fearlessly loved her daughter, her family, her friends and, of course, our cats, Cyrus and Oliver. This wasn’t the miracle we prayed for, but it was not for lack of trying by rescue crews whose tireless bravery will never be forgotten. On behalf of my sons, Matt and Sam, and Cassie’s daughter, Ariana, we want to thank everyone who reached out over the past two weeks to offer support, share a story and pray for Cassie. Your love means so much. Cass, we love you and are still hoping against hope. We will take care of Ariana the way you took care of all of us.”
Mike flew to the Miami area shortly after the collapse. In an interview with the New York Times, he said he was on the phone with Cassie in the moments before the collapse. He said Cassie was looking out from her fourth-floor unit and saw a hole opening near the pool area before the call cut off.
The death toll in the collapse is now at 60 people.