NYC medical examiner closes forensic ID of 9-11 victims

The remains of 1,161 people who died at the World Trade Center will go unidentified, marking an end to a painful waiting period for families who had hoped for a different outcome.

The medical examiner’s office began making the dreaded calls three weeks ago, giving the families news that was not unexpected.

"We have exhausted our options," Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said yesterday. "We extracted the DNA as best we could."

Forensic scientists familiar with the process of DNA analysis and the families were braced for the reality that the remains of 42 percent of the 2,749 reported missing would go unidentified. The rest of the missing victims’ families will be at the mercy of future technological advances.

Borakove said the office has about three weeks of phone calls to make before sending out a letter to all the victims’ families explaining that the office had reached the end of the line. (Newsday, Feb. 23)