The family of Nicholas Figueroa confirmed today that his body was found in the rubble of 121 Second Ave. He was 23.
According to various media accounts, Figueroa was on a date at Sushi Park with 22-year-old Teresa Galarce at the time of the blast that ultimately leveled three buildings. Galarce, a co-worker at Bowlmor Lanes at Chelsea Piers, suffered a broken nose, broken rib and punctured lung during the explosion that authorities believe was caused by leaking natural gas.
Figueroa was a December graduate of SUNY Buffalo State with a degree in criminal justice.
College friends told The Wall Street Journal that he liked to go kayaking, rock climbing and hot-air ballooning. And he loved salsa.
"He wasn’t a very good dancer," one friend said.
"But he got better," said the other.
He was the oldest of four brothers.
"He is one of those people that lives life to the fullest. He's always happy," his brother Neal told the Daily News several days ago.
Said his brother Tyler on Friday: "Nicholas is a happy-go-lucky guy. He loves to experience adventures and go on crazy adventures. He's got the biggest, brightest smile, too. I don't even know why he was at a sushi restaurant. I thought he was a vegetarian."
Figueroa had just paid the couple's bill at the back of the restaurant when the explosion rocked the building.
Authorities recovered a second body today, though they have not made a positive ID. The other missing man is Moises Ismael Locón Yac, who worked at Sushi Park.
Updated: There is a GoFundMe campaign set up to help the Figueroa pay for funeral expenses.