A firefighter’s remains have been identified nearly 12 years after the World Trade Center attacks which claimed his life. The New York City Examiner’s office announced the discovery on Friday.
The man was discovered to be 37-year-old Lt. Jeffery P. Walz, reports CNN. His remains, among many others’, were collected after the 2001 attacks but many were difficult to identify.
A renewed effort by authorities to attempt to identify unclaimed remains from the 9/11 terror attack lead to the discovery that Lt. Walz was among them.
Over 1,100 people who died in the attacks in New York City were never identified in the aftermath, a large portion of the total 2,753 lives lost, according to acting chief medical examiner Barbara Sampson.
Her report states that there are still over 8,200 remains — bones and other matter — which still require DNA testing.
The fallen firefighter, Lt. Jeffery P. Walz, spent several years working as an engineer before following in his father’s footsteps to begin his public service vocation, according to Lohud.com. He was last seen in the World Trade Center’s north tower.
After the attacks, Walz left behind a wife, Rani, and a 3-year old son, Bradley. The identification of the firefighter’s remains, however, has brought up mixed emotions in the family.
Jeffery Walz’s mother, Jennie Walz, said she and her daughter find some comfort in being able to bury their loved one, saying that “at least we can say he’s not missing anymore.”
The wife the fallen firefighter left behind, however, is not as pleased. She says she had no doubt that her husband had died in the World Trade Center attacks. The recent news, however, has brought up difficult feelings again, she says.
While most families declined to have a public announcement made after recent successful attempts to identify victims of the 9/11 attacks, the Walz family decided against that.
After publicly announcing that her son, a fallen firefighter whose remains were identified recently, could now be buried, the family says it may help show others who lost loved ones who have not been found to not give up hope.