(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) New York City officials positively identified the remains of one of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, more than two decades later.
Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham released a joint statement on Jan. 18, 2024, in which they announced that advancements in DNA testing involving “next-generation sequencing technology” allowed officials to identify the remains of John Ballantine Niven.
Niven, a husband and father of a then-18-month-old boy, named after him, was 44 years old when he died that day, according to Blaze Media. He was the senior vice president in mergers and acquisitions at AON Risk Services, an insurance company that was located on the 105th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
“It is certainly emotional for me, and I’m sure many others, to hear many years later that DNA has been found. It’s a real tribute to the City of New York and the teams working behind the scenes all these years to honor that mantra ‘Never Forget.’ My son and I are so appreciative of this tremendous endeavor,” Ellen Niven, the widow, responded to the news in an email.
Both Adams and Graham issued their statements honoring Niven and the city officials, without whom the identification of Niven would not be possible.
“While the pain from the enormous losses on September 11th never leaves us, the possibility of new identifications can offer solace to the families of victims. I’m grateful for the ongoing work from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner that honors the memory of John Ballantine Niven and all those we lost,” Adams said.
In his statement, Graham also promised that other people who were murdered on that day would be identified as well.
“Our solemn promise to find answers for families using the latest advances in science stands as strong today as in the immediate days after the World Trade Center attacks. This new identification attests to our agency’s unwavering commitment and the determination of our scientists,” he said.