Archive for Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Medical examiner lowers WTC death toll

August 20, 2002


— The medical examiner's office on Monday released the first comprehensive accounting of World Trade Center victims a list of 2,819 names that reduces the toll by four, the first change in the overall number in months.

The names will be read at the city's Sept. 11 ground zero anniversary ceremony by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, victims' family members and other dignitaries.

The list includes those whose remains have been identified, those presumed dead whose families have obtained a court-issued death certificate and about 90 people still classified as missing.

City officials in charge of the massive compilation effort cautioned they are not ready to call 2,819 the final number. The medical examiner's office and the police department still could adjust the tally and the police have not yet agreed to delete the four names from their list.

Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said she would not identify the latest four deletions.

"One victim was a woman listed by both her married name and maiden name, so that was a duplication," Borakove said. "The other three were people who were reported missing way back when, and nobody's ever been in contact, or come through to us. We've not been able to reach anybody, and nobody responded when we put out the DNA hotline, so they were removed."

Inspector Jeremiah Quinlan, who supervises the police department's missing person investigation, said that the department was sticking with 2,823 names for now.

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