On September 11, 2001, Dorothy Morgan went to work at the World Trade Center. She was an insurance broker in the North Tower, the first to be hit. Although Morgan was likely one of the 2,753 victims at Ground Zero that morning, her remains were never identified. As a result, her daughter, Nykiah, was unable to give her a proper burial.
In August 2021, nearly 20 years after Dorothy’s presumed death, two New York detectives made a trip to Nykiah’s home on Long Island. Her son, Dante, called her at work. “They’re here about Grandma,” he said to her. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office positively identified Dorothy Morgan through advanced DNA testing.
The identification of her mother was a surprise to Nykiah. “I didn’t know they were still attempting that after all these years, that it was something that was ongoing,” she told New York Times. In fact, the ME’s office continues to conduct the largest missing persons case in the history of the United States. Scientists work around the clock to identify the remaining 1,106 victims who are still unaccounted for.
Another victim was identified along with Dorothy. However, their identity has been withheld at the request of the family. Together, they are the 1,646th and 1,647th people to be identified following 9/11. Moreover, they are first victims to be identified since October 2019.
“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 Sampson, New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner, to New York Times. “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.”