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Missing NYC woman went to Florida for ‘fresh start’ before condo collapse, friend says

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A Manhattan attorney who survived a bout of COVID-19 moved to the doomed Florida condo tower this year for a “fresh start,” according to her best friend.

New York City native Linda March is now among 152 people missing following the disaster last week at Champlain Towers South that’s left at least nine people dead.

Her close pal Rochelle Laufer told the Miami Herald that March relocated to Surfside in the Sunshine State in March and rented the penthouse at the now-partially collapsed building.

The newspaper said March felt compelled to move out of the Big Apple because of worsening crime in her Upper West Side neighborhood.

“She sent me pictures of the apartment. The place was beautiful, oceanfront, with beautiful views,” Laufer, who grew up with March in Brooklyn, told the news outlet.

A general view of the Champlain Towers after the collapse, as family members remain missing after the collapsed condo building in Surfside on June 27, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
The Champlain Towers after the collapse, as family members remain missing following the disaster in Surfside on June 27, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Larry Marano
Members of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team look for survivors on June 27, 2021.
Members of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team look for survivors on June 27, 2021.
GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

“The one thing she complained about was the construction. It started at 8 in the morning and kept going all day,” she said, adding that March couldn’t wait to return to New York.

“She loved the outdoors,” Laufer told the Herald. “When she was in New York, she was in a small apartment. In Miami, she had a pink bicycle, and she’d ride all around. She loved walking on the beach. She was very into exercise and working out in the sunshine. She felt life would be better in Florida. It was a fresh start.”

March lost her sister to cancer about eight years ago and both her parents also have passed away, she said.

People visit the makeshift memorial for the individuals missing in the condo collaspe.
People visit a makeshift memorial for the individuals missing in the condo collapse.
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

“She loved going out to dinner and socializing,” Laufer said. “She was very bright and always smiling. She was sunshine-y. You’d see her and smile and laugh together. She was very extroverted, always talking to people. She had things to be sad about, but she was happy … She’s like a sister to me.”

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