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Ten years, 21,000 bone fragments, no closure
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NEW YORK (AP) — His family has his spare firefighter uniform, but not the one he wore on 9/11 — or any other trace of him.Killed at the World Trade Center, 32-year-old Scott Kopytko’s remains were never recovered — a painful legacy of grief for families looking for answers, closure or final confirmation their loved one was actually a 9/11 victim.“Very painful and very hurt” is how Russell Mercer, Kopytko’s stepfather, describes it. “And mistrusting of everybody.”Numbers tell the story in the decade of search and recovery of the remains of Sept. 11 victims — a massive forensic investigation marked by a Supreme Court appeal of families who wanted a more thorough search, and discoveries years after the attacks of even more remains in manholes and on rooftops around ground zero.• Tens of millions have been spent, including on the painstaking extraction of DNA from tiny bone fragments, using technology refined from a decade ago.• Of 21,000 remains that have been recovered, nearly 9,000 are unidentified, because of the degraded condition they were found in. More than 1,100 victims have no identifiable remains.• The pace of the process is telling — in five years, only 26 new identifications.

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