DEATH

Body of Argentine restaurant owner Hector Rolotti recovered in India river; ashes will be brought to Miami

 
 
FILE: Hector Rolotti, founder and chief executive of the popular Argentine restaurant Novecento, poses for a picture on May 28, 2008.
FILE: Hector Rolotti, founder and chief executive of the popular Argentine restaurant Novecento, poses for a picture on May 28, 2008.
Jeffrey M. Boan / El Nuevo Herald

priley@MiamiHerald.com

For six days, the family of Miami’s popular Argentine Novecento restaurant founder Hector Rolotti clung to the hope that he would be found alive after jumping into the Ganges River in India to save a would-be drowning victim.

That hope turned into grim reality Saturday morning after authorities confirmed the body of Rolotti, 47, had been recovered.

“It is with great sadness that Novecento Group informs that the body of founding parter Hector Rolotti was found in the Ganges River,’’ said a statement released Saturday. “The body was found intact due to the low temperatures of the Ganges this time of year. He was found by a group of locals who then alerted the authorities and search team.”

Rolotti, founder and chief executive of the Novecento chain, was found at 2 a.m. EST. Search teams had been looking for him since Monday after he jumped into the Ganges River to help save a member of the group he was with from drowning.

Rolotti and his wife Mora were visiting India on a Yoga retreat the couple attends annually, when they noticed another member of the group flailing in the river, crying out for help. Rolotti and five others jumped into the murky waters. All returned safely to shore — except Rolotti. He disappeared after being dragged in by the current.

Rolotti’s remains are expected to be cremated in India in the presence of a few relatives and close friends, the statement said. His ashes will be brought to Miami, and La Cumbre and Bariloche in Argentina, where his family and a large number of friends reside.

Efforts to reach the family were not successful. It is not known when the ashes would be brought to Miami.

“Novecento deeply appreciates the many expressions of solidarity, concern and affection received since the event occured,” the statement said. “We ask everyone to pray for him and his family during this difficult time.

“Hector was endeared by many in Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Miami and New York — all the places where he lived and opened a Novecento Restaurant,” the statement said. “He was a tireless entrepreneur and family man, always concerned about his children, wife and parents. Hector’s great achievement with Novecento was much more than a restaurant chain, it is a meeting point for friends and communities. Hector’s example as a person, husband, father and friend — as well as his eternal smile — will live on forever.”

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