“After seeing the video, I had accepted that I’m never seeing my mother or my grandmother alive again,” he said. “As for hope that we’re going to be able to see them, that for me doesn’t exist. I just hope that they’re able to at least recover them so we can give them a proper burial.”
The night before the incident, Rodriguez recalled speaking with his mother who mentioned she was awoken by a loud creaking sound in the middle of the night. Her son said he regrets not acting on the occurrence sooner.
“I replay it over and over. Why didn’t we pay more attention to it?” he asked. “At the time, I really didn’t give it much thought. It’s not a noise that a building normally makes. Buildings don’t creak loud enough to wake you up.”
Rodriguez noted in his past experiences visiting the condo, he could recall noticing cracks and flooding in the infrastructure, as well as hearing reports of mismanagement. The big question, he asked, is where the hundreds of thousands of maintenance fee dollars have been going if not for maintaining building foundation.
Several lawsuits have already been filed against the building and Rodriguez said he too hopes management will be held accountable for the grief caused to residents and their families.
“My wife is the one that keeps reminding me, she’s like, ‘Are you kidding me? If your mom was still here, she’d be in front of every camera, every TV reporter, every paper making sure that whoever’s responsible for this is brought to justice.’”
“This is America,” he said. “This doesn’t happen here. And I think if they keep digging, they’re going to find a lot of bad things that happened.”
Rodriguez made it a point to thank first responders working under “unimaginable” conditions and hot, humid weather to manage the disaster.