Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
Vanished: South Florida Detectives' Determined Work Finding the Missing
Missing persons cases have been capturing the attention of so many across the country. The stories of Gabby Petito and South Florida teen Miya Marcano have both ended in heartbreak and loss.
The families of those who are missing go through excruciating pain and oftentimes don’t have the answers they need to feel closure.
Law enforcement never leave a stone unturned while pursuing missing person cases. The men and women in blue who devote their lives to solving these cases, that often turn into crimes, also feel the sadness that families feel when they hit a wall.
Officers said they typically have a high success rate of finding the juveniles and adults reported missing.
Each detective is assigned a case, and sometimes they’ll pair up. While it’s not the standard, oftentimes after 90 days, some cases may shift into what’s considered a cold case.
“I’ve had cases in my investigations where I’ve had it for over a year. If there’s still information for me to look into, I will keep the case until I’ve exhausted all my leads,” Eloi said.
In the special victims unit, where the team of missing persons detectives work, there is a wall of cold cases displayed and the oldest case dates back to 1967.
Engineers Call for More Inspections After Surfside Condo Collapse
The state of Florida should consider requiring high-rise buildings near the coast to undergo safety inspections every 20 years, according to a coalition of engineers and architects that formed after a South Florida condominium collapsed in June, killing 98 people.
The recommendations, released four months after Champlain Towers South collapsed in Surfside, are based on “preserving the long-term health of buildings by assessing environmental and other degradation of structures and their systems over the life of a building," the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida and the Florida Engineering Society said in a news release.
Seven of the state’s engineering and architecture associations formed the Surfside Working Group to come up with ideas to prevent another tragedy like the partial collapse of the 12-story beachfront property.
The group also said nearly all large buildings in Florida should be inspected for structural problems within their first 30 years, with follow-ups every 10 years. Buildings within 3 miles of saltwater should be inspected within their first 20 years, with follow-up safety inspections every seven years, the group said.
South Florida Influencer Defends Posing in Front of Father's Casket
A South Florida woman known as an influencer on social media is defending herself from criticism after photos went viral showing her posing in front of the casket holding her late father.
Miami native Jayne Rivera said she doesn't understand why she's been getting backlash over the last few days.
"I’m looking at the comments, and they’re just hateful and abusive," Rivera told NBC 6 on Thursday. "I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with what I was doing. You couldn’t see him in it."
Rivera took the photos last Sunday at a viewing for her father, Jose. The 20-year-old took pictures in front of the casket draped with an American flag for the Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Some of the photos showed Jayne in a praying position while others showed her posing with her knee bent.
"I don’t think it was inappropriate," she said.
But thousands on social media did think it was, blasting her with comments Rivera said contained some nasty statements.
Video Shows Rescuers Responding to Alleged Arson at Fort Lauderdale Motel
New body camera footage shows police officers and firefighters responding to a fire at a Fort Lauderdale motel that authorities said was intentionally set.
Fort Lauderdale Police on Tuesday released the footage that shows the response to the Bali Hai Motel off U.S. 1 on Saturday.
The footage shows flames pouring from a room on the motel's first floor before firefighters arrive and rescue a man who was inside the burning room.
An officer then throws the man over his shoulder and takes him across the street to a fire station for help.
But police said that man, 44-year-old Martin Kendall, is the person who intentionally set the room on fire. Investigators even found a blowtorch inside the motel room, officials said.
"Witnesses on scene reported hearing him say 'let it burn' multiple times," Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson Ali Adamson said.
Surgeon General on Hot Seat as Doctors, Officials Weigh in on Refusal to Wear Mask
Several doctors are calling for Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo to resign after he refused to wear a mask at the office of state Sen. Tina Polsky, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Obviously he didn’t care about her health. How will he care about the health of 20 million Floridians?" said Dr. Brent Schillinger, former president of the Palm Beach County Medical Society. "I’m curious when he goes to visit the governor and his wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, if Gov. DeSantis will ask him to put on a mask and what will happen in that circumstance."
Ladapo and two aides were offered masks and were asked to wear them when they arrived for the meeting last Wednesday, Polsky told The Associated Press. She did not tell him she had breast cancer, but said she had a serious condition.
“Even if I didn’t have any kind of diagnosis, he still should’ve respected my wishes. No one else has had a problem, it was the utmost of unprofessionalism for him to not respect me as a senator,” said Polsky, a Democrat who represents Palm Beach County.
Ladapo posted a message on social media saying he would never knowingly disrespect someone. The statement went on to say, in part, that having a conversation with someone while wearing a mask is not something he finds productive. He says he offered an outdoor meeting as an option, but Polsky declined.
Dashcam Video Shows Florida Trooper Saving Choking Child on I-95 in Miami
A dashcam video captured a Florida Highway Patrol trooper saving a toddler from choking on the side of Interstate 95 entrance ramp near Miami.
The agency released the dashcam footage from the Oct. 16 incident in a Twitter post that called the trooper a hero.
Trooper Reginald Mathieu was heading to a crash scene when the little girl's parents flagged him down. They and two other cars had stopped along the ramp and were in the road, attempting to get the 1-year-old child to breathe.
The dashcam video shows the trooper running up to assist the unconscious child.
Watch Unique NBC 6 Original Content on New FireTV App
A new app from NBC 6 makes it easy for more than 50 million Amazon FireTV users to watch the daily 6 To Know digital news brief to start and end your day, plus digital extras like Cold Crimes – a special series looking for new clues in some of the most notorious unsolved cases in South Florida.
The new NBC South Florida app brings the same great experience from our Roku and AppleTV apps to the Amazon FireTV platform.
Through this new app, you can watch original content designed for streaming platforms, browse coverage of the biggest news stories of the day, and watch live local newscasts.
The app also delivers our state-of-the-art weather news, including the latest forecasts, live radar, the hour-by-hour forecast and the 10-day forecast.
Click here to download the app from Amazon’s FireTV app store -- you can initiate the download on a computer or phone, and it will load on your FireTV device. Search NBC 6 South Florida to download for free.