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Old 12-15-2005, 12:37 PM   #1
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9/11 Victim Laid To Rest Four Years Later

It makes me think of how many families will never be able to do this.

Puerto Rican Sept. 11 Victim Is Buried

Thu Dec 15

Four years, three months and three days after she died in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Lourdes Galletti Diaz was buried Wednesday in this coastal town.

Her mother Milagros Diaz Perez received her daughter's partial remains, identified using DNA samples, on Monday.

Mourners walked through the main streets of Penuelas bearing yellow flowers in honor of Galleti, a 33-year-old secretary who was among some 2,800 people who perished when the twin towers collapsed in the terrorist attacks.

She was born in the Bronx, New York, but spent part of her childhood in Penuelas and returned here often — most recently three weeks before her death.

"It's a relief to know that part of her remains are going to be buried here," said her mother, who cried in front of the rose-covered coffin.

"My memories of her are all of joy," Diaz told about 20 friends and family at the services in Penuelas, 80 miles southwest of San Juan.

After her daughter was killed, Diaz wrote a self-help book on recovering from the loss of a loved one.

In her own case, Diaz said writing the book allowed her to release "all my feelings, the pain that I carry inside."


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Old 12-15-2005, 12:50 PM   #2
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What makes it worse is that her remains were identified by DNA -- a process that may have been delayed because of a greedy man in the coroner's office.

9/11 ID computer was sham, doc sez
Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

A shameless $10 million computer system ripoff - exposed last week by authorities - slowed the grim process of identifying 9/11 victims, the former head of the city's DNA unit charged yesterday.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Dr. Robert Shaler said he E-mailed city Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch, telling him the new computer system was virtually useless in helping identify victims of New York's worst tragedy.

But the man who led the effort to bring a modicum of comfort to the loved ones of the nearly 3,000 lost said his plea went ignored.

"What they did was wrong," Shaler told The News. "It slowed us down from making identifications."

Shaler eventually just gave up on the system developed by Comprehensive Computer Resources and went back to the old computer - known as The Beast, which could store and track multiple samples of DNA being sent out for analysis.

The CCR system "wasn't any better," Shaler said. "The Beast was fine."

Last week, prosecutors charged that the medical examiner's computer guru Natarajan (Raju) Venkataram and his girlfriend, Rosa Abreu, siphoned at least $10 million from the CCR contract - funneling $5.5 million to bank accounts in India and to shell companies headed by friends and relatives.

Abreu, director of records for the medical examiner's office, was released on a $500,000 bond yesterday after a hearing in Manhattan Federal Court during which prosecutors revealed she recently wired $350,000 to an account in her native Dominican Republic.

"There's a lot of money out there that's potentially available should this defendant decide not to appear," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Landis.

Last week, Venkataram was released on $1 million bond.

City officials have acknowledged that CCR's work, paid for with $11.4 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, could have been done for a fraction of the cost - but they insisted the identification process was not compromised.

Hirsch could not recall receiving such an E-mail from Shaler - but said that if he did it was likely that he would have forwarded it to the office's computer systems administrators, according to his spokeswoman.

Shaler headed the medical examiner's forensic biology department for 15 years until retiring this year to direct the forensic science program at Pennsylvania State University.

The effort to identify the 2,749 victims of the trade center attacks ended in April, with the remains of 1,592 identified.

Shaler remembered Venkataram and a CCR company official worked closely together developing the inhouse computer system. "I really thought they were creating a product they could take out and sell," said Shaler, author of "Who They Were: Inside the World Trade Center DNA story."

Shaler said he spoke to the city's Department of Investigation this year about the CCR system, but he added that he was unaware Venkataram was a focus of the probe.


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Old 12-15-2005, 02:52 PM   #3
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I did not know about that and now I feel sick...
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:43 PM   #4
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RIP Lourdes.

The whole ID thing is sad too

but lets not forget who the real assholes in this are
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:41 AM   #5
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