Mom of 9/11 victim Matthew Yarnell: Identified remains ‘finally put everything to rest’


It’s been more than 13 years since 2,753 [sic – 2,749 – the final 4 are 3 people who died of site illness years later and one added by court order] people were reported missing in lower Manhattan after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Although death certificates have been issued for all 2,753 [sic], the work to identify each victim continues.

Matthew Yarnell

Matthew Yarnell

In fact, it’s far from over: Some 40% of the victims have not yet been identified, according to the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

The most recent identified victim is Matthew Yarnell, a 26-year-old New Jersey native who worked for Fiduciary Trust on the 97th floor of the South Tower.

Yarnell’s mother said Friday that the news “was a bit of a shock,” but that it means that she can “finally put everything to rest.”

“It kind of opened up all of the old wounds and old pains initially,” Michele Yarnell told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “I guess it kind of put to rest any — I wouldn’t say doubt — (because) we weren’t doubtful about the outcome, but it kind of gave us closure.”

According to the medical examiner, Yarnell’s DNA samples were recovered during the original recovery effort from 2001 to 2002. Until this week, they resided with other remains that have not been identified. A recent retesting, however, yielded a new result.

“Every time there’s a new development in a DNA processing or technique, they go back and they recheck every single remain that they have in the repository at the museum,” she told Baldwin. “And this time (Matthew’s) matched.”

The identification of Yarnell puts the total number of identifications from the World Trade Center at 1,640, meaning there are still 1,113 more to go.

Daunting, but not insurmountable.

“The ME’s office is not going to give up,” Michelle Yarnell said. “I hope for everyone that lost a loved one there, that they’ll have that closure someday, and, hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

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