NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner announced on Tuesday two new identifications of victims of the September 11th attacks just days before the city marks 20 years since the tragedy.
Dorothy Morgan, of Hempstead, is the 1,646th person and a man whose name is being withheld at the request of his family is the 1,647th person to be identified through ongoing DNA analysis of unidentified remains recovered from the disaster that claimed the lives of 2,753 people.
"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," said Dr. Barbara A. Sampson, Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York. "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."
The identification of Dorothy Morgan was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001.
Morgan worked for an insurance company in one of the towers. Her daughter, Nikiah, said she spoke to her mom on the morning of 9/11.
Ten minutes later, it was the beginning of the end. She said she tried to call back and kept getting busy signals.
Now, 20 years later, she was notified her mother's remains had finally been identified. Thanks to new technology, the DNA in some of the remains matched her old toothbrush.
"Shocking, I didn't expect it after all this time," Nikiah Morgan said.
Several months after 9/11, Nikiah held a celebration service for her mother. She refused to call it a funeral. In her mind, she knew her mother was gone, but without confirmation, her heart never gave up.
Dorothy Morgan was only 47 when she was killed. She never saw her daughter get married and she missed birthday parties and graduations -- so many life events. She never got to meet her second grandson, who is named after her -- Dorian Morgan.
"I'd like her to know a lot about me, the entirety of my life which she missed out on, which I'm sad about," Dorian Morgan said.
Dorothy and her daughter used to talk on the phone every morning. Now two decades later, Nikiah said she knows her mother is watching over her.
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The identification of the unnamed man was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001, 2002, and 2006.
The two identifications are the first new identifications of World Trade Center victims since October 2019. Some 1,106 victims, or 40% of those who died, remain unidentified.
The ongoing effort to identify victims of the World Trade Center disaster is the largest and most complex forensic investigation in the history of the United States.
"We continue to push the science out of necessity to make more identifications," said Mark Desire, assistant director of the OCME Department of Forensic Biology and manager of the World Trade Center DNA Identification Team. "The commitment today is as strong as it was in 2001."
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