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Forensic Magazine September 8, 2021: 2 More 9/11 Victims ID'ed Days Before 20th Anniversary

Two days ago, 1,108 of the 2,753 victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks remained unidentified. Yesterday, that number decreased as the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) confirmed two new identifications—the first since October 2019.

As part of the largest and most complex forensic investigation in the history of the U.S., Dorothy Morgan and a man whose name is being withheld at the request of his family have been identified through DNA analysis.

According to OCME, Morgan is the 1,646 person identified, while the unnamed man is the 1,647. The identifications occurred just days before the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

The identification of Morgan was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001. The identification of the unnamed man was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001, 2002, and 2006.

All WTC identifications have been made using STR technologies, said Mark Desire, assistant director of forensic biology at OCME and manager of the 9/11 WTC identification team. But, STR technology in 2001 looks much different than STR technology in 2021. Thus, as the technology has advanced, Desire’s team has been able to make additional identifications.

Initially, 22,000 remains were collected and transported to the OCME lab. All of these remains have been tested at least one, most multiple times. Several years ago, Desire’s team wanted to go back and re-test a select 6,000 bone samples, of which they only have about 2,000 left to process. more

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