The remains of a 26-year-old financial worker who died 17 years ago on 9/11 has been identified through advanced DNA testing by the city’s Medical Examiner, a report on Wednesday said.
The office said the remains belonged to Scott Michael Johnson, who worked on the 89th floor of the south tower as a security analyst for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the New York Times reported.
Johnson is the 1,642 person to be identified of the 2,753 people killed in the terror attack, the newspaper said.
A team of experts at the medical examiner’s office had tried to identify a bone recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center a dozen times since 2001 without success.
But using new techniques they were able to remove DNA from the bone and compare it to a database containing 17,000 reference samples from victims and family members and make a positive identification.
For Johnson’s family, it brought a conclusion to a long and agonizing wait.
“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 mother Ann Johnson told the Times.
She and her husband, Tom, who have two children, are not planning any services.
“As a forensic scientist, you’re trained to be neutral and unbiased,” Mark Desire, the assistant director of forensic biology for the office, told the newspaper. “But with the World Trade Center investigation, it’s a different kind of case and when you meet with the families and the hugs and the thank yous, it gets emotional with them and it really helps with that drive to keep improving that process.”