Remains of lost 9/11 firefighter identified
The remains of an FDNY firefighter from Westchester County who died on Sept. 11, 2001, have been identified through DNA analysis, the New York City medical examiner's office said yesterday.
Lt. Jeffrey Walz, 37, assigned to Ladder 9 in Manhattan, was last seen in the World Trade Center's north tower with other firefighters at the time of the terror attacks.
His remains were among those initially recovered after the attack, said a spokeswoman for the medical examiner.
Walz, originally from Staten Island, moved with his family to Tuckahoe in Westchester. He was a resident there at the time of his death, leaving a wife and toddler son.
Walz was working as an electrical engineer in the Navy when he decided to become a firefighter, following his father's example.
The fire department said he joined in 1992. His family couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
The number of identified World Trade Center victims now stands at 1,634, or 59 percent of the 2,753 people killed, officials said.
There are still thousands of scattered remains that have yet to be analyzed, according to the latest summary provided by the medical examiner. Scores of potential human remains recently uncovered during new sifting operations have added to the total.
Over the years, the pace of victim identification has slowed to a trickle.
While small bone fragments may not yield recoverable DNA material, experts say advances in DNA technology should aid identification in coming years.