Remains of a 55-year-old man identified in World Trade Center debris on Staten Island

By Tracey Porpora Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Remains of a 55-year-old male 9/11 victim found in World Trade Center debris has been positively identified after a DNA retesting by the city medical examiner’s office.

“The identification was made by retesting of remains recovered during the original recovery that took place from September 11, 2001 until May 31, 2002,” said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office.

The medical examiner’s office is not releasing the name of the individual at the request of the family, she said.

“We retest remains because we are now able to extract DNA from bones. We have been retesting for a while, and if we are able to come up with enough information for a full profile then we are able to make a positive identification,” she added.

The total number of World Trade Center human remain identifications is now 1,635.

“As long as there is technology available we are committed to making identifications,” said Ms. Borakove.

Since January 2006, a total of 6,314 bone samples have been selected for DNA retesting and 1,845 additional specimens have been recovered, according to a medical examiner’s recent report. This results in a total of 8,159 samples that require DNA testing. As of the report — dated April 1 — 2,487 remains have been linked by DNA to known individuals, and 5,672 remains are in various stages of testing.

Meanwhile, eight more fragments that could be human remains of 9/11 victims were unearthed on Tuesday, bringing to 62 the total number of fragments recovered since sifting resumed at the former Fresh Kills landfill on April 1.

While the sifting process has been occurring daily at the landfill for the last 2 1/2 weeks, no potential human remains were found in over a week.

After potential remains are collected at the landfill they are sent to an anthropology lab in Manhattan. “Anthropologists look at the remains and we start the process of taking photographs, assigning a case number, and then it gets moved onto our forensic biology lab for possible extraction of DNA profiles, so we can try to make identifications,” said Ms. Borakove.

Families of 9/11 victims who want to supply the city with DNA can call 212-447-7884.

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