Feature

Identifying the dead

The week's news at a glance.

New York

The City of New York officially closed its search for human remains in debris from the World Trade Center this week. Dignitaries and mourners marked the occasion in a ceremony at the Fresh Kills landfill, where workers spent months sifting for clues in a million and a half tons of rubble. Using remains as small as bone splinters, investigators have identified 1,229 of the 2,823 victims. Medical examiners will keep trying to assign names to the 20,000 body parts collected after Sept. 11. DNA testing, which has cracked 500 cases, could be the only way to solve more. The force of the imploding towers didn’t leave much behind in the way of clues, said Dr. Robert Shaler, the city’s director of forensic biology. “It was like a huge mortar and pestle.”

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