Advanced DNA Testing Used To Identify 9/11 Victim


IT WAS ABLE TO MAKE THE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH A NEW KIND OF DNA TESTING. CBS 2’S CINDY HSU HAS THE STORY. Reporter: WHEN THE TWIN TOWERS WERE ATTACKED, MORE THAN 2700 PEOPLE DIED INCLUDING 26-YEAR-OLD SCOTT JOHNSON, WHO WORKED ON THE 89th FLOOR OF THE SOUTH TOWER FOR AN INVESTMENT BANK. JOHNSON WAS FROM MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY, AND A BIG ICE HOCKEY PLAYER. SO HIS FAMILY DONATED A HOCKEY PUCK IN REMEMBRANCE TO THE 9/11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM. YOU CAN FIND JOHNSON’S NAME AT THE SOUTH MEMORIAL POOL. JOHNSON WORKED AS A SECURITIES ANALYST AND UP UNTIL NOW, THE ONLY THING THAT WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE FOR HIS FAMILY TO HOLD ONTO WAS HIS WALLET. NOW THIS WEEK, THE MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE ANNOUNCED IT HAS IDENTIFIED JOHNSON’S BONE THROUGH NEW DNA TESTING WHERE SPECIAL CHEMICALS ARE USED TO REMOVE DNA FROM THE BONE FRAGMENTS. ONE OF THE MAIN DIFFICULTIES IN THE PROCESS OF GOING THROUGH 22,000 REMAINS IS HOW DEGRADED THE FRAGMENTS ARE. THESE REMAINS WENT THROUGH AT GROUND ZERO LIKE FIRE AND WATER. JET FUEL. UM, SUNLIGHT. MOLD AND BACTERIA. THESE WILL ALL DESTROY DNA. Reporter: JOHNSON IS THE 1,642nd PERSON TO BE IDENTIFIED. SO FAR 60% OF THOSE WHO DIED AT THE TWIN TOWERS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED THROUGH REMAINS. AND EACH TIME A FAMILY IS NOTIFIED, IT HITS HOME FOR THE FORENSICS TEAM. IT GETS VERY EMOTIONAL EACH TIME. AND THAT RELATIONSHIP AND THE THANK YOUS AND THE HUGGING, UM, THEY’RE REALLY, YOU KNOW, IT’S A — IT’S A VERY SPECIAL PROJECT. Reporter: MARK SAYS THE OFFICE MADE A PROMISE TO 9/11 FAMILIES TO KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE REMAINS OF THEIR LOVED ONES AND IS HOPING MORE ADVANCES IN DNA TESTING WILL ALLOW THEM TO KEEP THAT PROMISE. IN THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT, CINDY HSU, CBS 2 NEWS. THE MEDICAL EXAMINER SAYS

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