Two 9/11 Victims' Remains Identified Almost 20 Years Later, Over 1,100 Still Unidentified

The remains of two people who died in the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City have been identified, the New York City Chief Medical Examiner's office said Tuesday.

News that two additional victims had been identified came just days before the U.S. on Saturday will mark 20 years since the attacks occurred. It has been nearly two years since the last time remains of a 9/11 victim were identified through DNA testing.

Though nearly 3,000 victims' names appear on the 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) said the remains of 1,106 victims have yet to be identified, an estimated 40 percent of those lost in the attacks.

DNA testing identified Dorothy Morgan, who worked in the World Trade Center's North Tower at the time of the attacks, as among the victims. Her family was alerted to the DNA testing results last month, The New York Times reported on Monday.

9/11 victim remains identified
The remains of two more individuals who died in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center were identified ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Above, the annual Tribute in Light that will mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center is tested in New York City on September 3, 2021, as seen from New Jersey. Getty Images

The OCME said in a news release that Morgan was positively identified through remains recovered in 2001.

Another individual was also recently identified through DNA testing, the OCME said. The name of that individual, a man, has not yet been publicly released due to a request from his family. The man was identified through remains recovered in 2001, 2002 and 2006, according to the OCME.

"Twenty years ago, we made a promise to the families of World Trade Center victims to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to identify their loved ones, and with these two new identifications, we continue to fulfill that sacred obligation," Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson said in a news release shared with Newsweek.

"No matter how much time passes since September 11, 2001, we will never forget, and we pledge to use all the tools at our disposal to make sure all those who were lost can be reunited with their families," Sampson said.

Mark Desire, the assistant director of the OCME Department of Forensic Biology who manages the World Trade Center DNA Identification Team, said officials are still working to "push the science" so they can continue to identify the remains of others lost in the 9/11 attacks.

"The commitment today is as strong as it was in 2001," Desire said in the OCME release.

Nearly two years have passed since the most recent 9/11 victim remains were identified in October 2019. Morgan and the other unnamed individual became the 1,646th and 1,647th victims identified in the attacks at the World Trade Center.

Though nearly 20 years have passed since the 9/11 attacks, officials are still able to identify remains due to DNA technology developments that have occurred over the last two decades. The OCME has called identifying 9/11 victims' remains the "largest and most complex forensic investigation" in U.S. history.