9/11 Victim’s Remains Identified Nearly 17 Years Later Using DNA Testing

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 26, 2018US News
9/11 Victim’s Remains Identified Nearly 17 Years Later Using DNA Testing
This 11 Sept. 11, 2001, file photo shows smoke billowing up after the first of the two towers of the World Trade Center collapses in New York City. Two planes were crashed into the twin towers of the center, collapsing both towers. (Henny Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images)

The remains of a 26-year-old securities analyst who worked at the World Trade Center on 9/11 have been identified nearly 17 years after the attacks.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York on Wednesday identified the victim as Scott Michael Johnson, who was an employee at investment banking company Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, working on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center south tower, reported the NJ Advance Media.

Family members remembered Johnson as an adventurous traveler who went to Cuba and was planning a sojourn to South Africa when he died.

Mother Ann Johnson told The New York Times that she received a call recently alerting her and her husband to the identification.

“Having said that, it’s also made me cry and when I told our daughter, we sat there and both cried,” she said. “You get pulled right back into it and it also means there’s a finality. Somehow I always thought he would just walk up and say, ‘Here I am. I had amnesia.’”

“His friends reported at his memorial service on the incredible love and support that he gave to them that in a sense went even beyond our understanding of him,” Tom Johnson added about his son. “He was one of the kindest people that anyone around him had ever known. The pain of losing someone like that was tremendous.”

Johnson is the 1,642nd victim to be positively identified from the terror attacks in which 2,753 people were killed by hijackers who crashed airplanes into the trade center’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

The medical examiner said he was identified through improved DNA re-testing of remains originally recovered in 2001. It’s the first new identification made since last August.

“In 2001, we made a commitment to the families of victims that we would do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to identify their loved ones,” said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson in a statement obtained by ABC.

“This identification is the result of the tireless dedication of our staff to this ongoing mission.”

DNA technology methods have led to 89 percent of the victim identifications, officials said.

So far, about 40 percent of those who died have yet to have any remains identified.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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