Ten days after his untimely death, family members and friends of a young American visitor who fell to his death here just ahead of New Year’s, are still struggling for closure as they await the return of his body for burial.
However, police spokesman Inspector Roland Cobbler confirmed Monday that the official autopsy was completed last Thursday on Alex Miano’s body, clearing the way for its release to his family.
The young North Carolina-based production and installation designer, who was employed by the lighting, sound, special effects and video company Eye Dialogue, was on his third annual visit here and was in the process of setting up a job for New Year’s when the unthinkable occurred.
Alex, who had arrived in Barbados that same week with his girlfriend Tracey, was assisting a crew from Harbour Lights with their stage and lights for their elaborate Old Year’s Night celebration when he fell from a 20-foot scaffolding.
Immediately upon receiving the news, his parents Jay and Linda boarded the first flight to Barbados along with Alex’s boss and his girlfriend’s parents.
However, the process of recovering his body has been much slower than they would have hoped, amidst the heartache and pain of losing a loved one, especially one who was said to be full of life.
“We know that all of you are grieving and praying for us and want you to know that we think about you daily as well. The ripples from Alex’s legacy continue to go out further than we could have ever imagined,” said family spokeswoman Amanda Miano in an update posted on social media on January 3.
Amanda, who is Alex’s sister-in-law, described the loss as a tremendous one for the close-knit family, which she said was eager for closure.
“Jay, Linda, Tracey and her parents are still in Barbados as they wait. They are in one of the most beautiful places in the world and are savouring God’s creation with each other.
“We have been told Alex’s autopsy could take a few days. From there he will be sent to a funeral home for the next step. We want so bad for them to be home by Friday, but have been told it probably won’t be until Monday or Tuesday,” she reported at the time.
“The process seems like forever on both ends being that we all just want to be together. However, we have had so many beautiful moments together that we wouldn’t trade for the world. It has made the waiting manageable.”
She also expressed profound gratitude for the total outpouring of support the family has received in light of Alex’s death.
“We are still tired and have waves of emotions but the tears and hugs are so refreshing. We have each other and are realizing that family is literally everything. We have said ‘I love you’ more then we have ever before and this tragedy has taken that meaning to an entire new level,” she said, while requesting continued prayers for the entire Miano family.
Amanda, who said her family had lost an incredible young man, also posted a picture of Alex’s mum and dad on the beach right in front of where Alex was staying on Bay Street.
His siblings Adam, Andrew, Anthony and Abby also shared fond memories of their beloved brother and posted some of their most fun pictures with him.
“You always had a way of unlocking something in me that I didn’t know even existed. You taught me how to spread my wings and just let the air carry me, and I’ll never forget that,” said his brother Anthony who also recalled that following their birthdays last year they had shared “the trip of a lifetime together”.
He also shared a video example of his brother’s work saying: “It’s been such a joy to look at all the moments and lives you were a part of. You’ve always had the innate capacity to touch others in such a genuine and authentic way. You’re like this firework; a beautiful rocket, that had ability to span the horizon and leave a ripple in our hearts, leaving us all breathless down here.”
A spokesman for Eye Dialogue Lv Magee said: “Alex was more than our top salesman, and our best installation designer, he was the heart and soul of our Eye Dialogue family.
“His quick smile, tireless work ethic, and can-do attitude endeared him to everyone he met. We all loved and looked up to Alex, even though he was one of the youngest of us.
“The depth and breadth of his loss is unfathomable.”
A special Facebook page has been set up in honour of Alex’s Legacy. On it over 600 family members, friends and workmates have been paying glowing tribute to “a remarkable young man”, with a “larger than life personality” and contagious smile.
He was also admired for his courage and positive outlook on life and described by his aunt Karen Fisher Masseria as “fearless, enthusiastic energy and can-do attitude made him valuable to any team”.
“I have no words, I am in complete shock,” said Spencer Metz, who grew up with Alex, as memories of basketball and football games replayed over and over in his mind.
“I remember the first time he took me and Anthony Miano rock climbing (we were so sore) ha-ha! Or the time we all went to SC to get fireworks and had a Roman candle war at the docks and Alex shot me in the head with a roman candle by accident (I still laugh about that night).
“He always saw the best in people and had the gift of pushing people to limits far greater than they ever thought were possible,” added Taylor Shepard.
“We used to call him Porky as a nickname and he used that like fuel to become a healthier happier person,” recalled Nick Neary.
Sydney Setser, who first met Alex through his sister Abby when she was ten years old, said he was someone she had looked up to, adding that she always “marvelled at the way he took life by the horns and made it his own, how he made himself a self-made man, and kept it cool through it all”.
Members of the Mosaic church where he volunteered on Sundays were equally shocked by his death.
“My heart breaks . . . . He will leave a huge void at Mosaic & beyond. We just have to think that God needed a Technical Director and all of Heaven is shining brighter because Alex is there . . . for a multitude of reasons!” said one parishioner.