By Jaimie Julia Winters
Montclair native Scott Michael Johnson worked on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower when a hijacked airplane struck the building on Sept. 11, 2001, taking his life at the age of 26.
On Wednesday, nearly 17 years after his death, Johnson’s remains were identified after multiple rounds of DNA testing by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City.
Johnson worked as a securities analyst with the investment banking company Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, and is the 1,642nd person identified in the medical examiner’s ongoing efforts to identify the remains of the 2,752 people who were killed in the attack on New York City. The 1993 Montclair Kimberley Academy graduate is the first victim of the terrorist attacks to be identified since last year.
Johnson’s identification was confirmed through DNA re-testing of remains originally recovered in 2001, said New York City Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, MD, Ph.D on Wednesday, July 25.
“In 2001, we made a commitment to the families of victims that we would do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to identify their loved ones,” said Sampson. “This identification is the result of the tireless dedication of our staff to this ongoing mission.”
Scott was born on April 7, 1975 at Mountainside Hospital in Glen Ridge.
A 1997 graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., with a with a minor in Jewish studies, Scott was employed as a private banker for the Bank of New York. In March 2000, he joined the investment banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. as a securities analyst in its World Trade Center offices. He was survived by his parents, Ann and Thomas S. Johnson, brother Thomas P. Johnson and sister Margaret Johnson, according to Scott’s obituary in the New York Times.
Johnson was adventurous and loved to travel. He had visited Cuba and Egypt, and was planning a trip South America for the summer of 2002. He loved to play golf with his father in Montclair and was a Yankees fan, according to his profile published Oct. 31, 2001, in the New York Times.
While over 1,100 9/11 victims still remain unidentified, 1,642 positive victim identifications have been made since 2001, representing 60 percent of those who perished on that day, according to the medical examiner’s office.
DNA technology methods have led to 89 percent of all positive victim identifications.