The mystery surrounding the 911 victim39s remains is finally solved

The mystery surrounding the 9/11 victim's remains is finally solved when a DNA breakthrough reveals the identity of the 44-year-old father killed in the Twin Towers 23 years ago

The remains of a man killed in the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center have been identified more than two decades later after a DNA breakthrough.

John Ballantine Niven of Oyster Bay, Long Island, has been positively identified, the New York coroner's office announced Thursday.

The 44-year-old was an executive at Aon Risk Services, an insurance company on the 105th floor of tower two of the trade center complex, when hijackers carried out the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in history on September 11, 2001.

His wife, Ellen Niven, and son, Jack, say they are grateful for the “extraordinary efforts” of city officials as they continue the difficult task of identifying the victims' remains.

The medical examiner's office has used advanced DNA analysis to identify remains in recent years, but around 40 percent of victims still have not been linked to their remains.

Niven is the 1,650. identified victims of an attack in which hijackers crashed planes into the Twin Towers, killing 2,753 people.

The remains of John Ballantine Niven (pictured) of Oyster Bay, Long Island, have been positively identified, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday. He was killed at the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks

The 44-year-old left behind his wife Ellen (not pictured) and 18-month-old son Jack.  The photo above, shared with his obituary, is believed to show Niven holding his niece Jamie.  Niven was known to “carry his son everywhere.”

The 44-year-old left behind his wife Ellen (not pictured) and 18-month-old son Jack. The photo above, shared with his obituary, is believed to show Niven holding his niece Jamie. Niven was known to “carry his son everywhere.”

“It is certainly emotional for me, and certainly for many others, to hear, many years later, that DNA has been found,” Ms. Niven wrote in an email to the Associated Press on Thursday.

“It is a true tribute to the city of New York and the teams that have worked behind the scenes over the years to honor the mantra of “Never Forget.”

“My son and I are very grateful for this great endeavor. '

According to obituaries at the time, Niven and his family lived at times between Manhattan and Oyster Bay, where he grew up. He often played tennis in the area with his childhood friends.

He enjoyed reading about history and philosophy and valued spending time with his son Jack, who was just 18 months old when his father died.

Niven's obituary revealed how he “carried his son everywhere, taking him to wash the car or take a dip in the pool.” He would also “hide by his son’s toy cars.”

The remains of about 40 percent of the victims of the World Trade Center attack have yet to be identified because few complete bodies were recovered when the giant towers collapsed.  Crews are pictured searching the rubble at Ground Zero on September 13, 2001

The remains of about 40 percent of the victims of the World Trade Center attack have yet to be identified because few complete bodies were recovered when the giant towers collapsed. Crews are pictured searching the rubble at Ground Zero on September 13, 2001

Firefighters work under the destroyed posts, the vertical struts that once faced the soaring exterior walls of the World Trade Center towers after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

Firefighters work under the destroyed posts, the vertical struts that once faced the soaring exterior walls of the World Trade Center towers after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

The young family had been vacationing in the British Virgin Islands just weeks before his death in the attacks. After his death, Ms Niven said: “He would say that although his life was short, he was truly blessed in the years he had.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a statement Thursday after Niven's remains were identified.

He said: “While the pain of the enormous losses suffered on September 11th never leaves us, the possibility of new identifications can provide comfort to the families of the victims.”

“I am grateful for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s ongoing work to honor the memory of John Ballantine Niven and all those we have lost.”

“We will forever remember our heroes who died on 9/11, and we appreciate the continued efforts of forensic experts to help identify victims,” Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a separate statement.

“We hope this amazing technological advancement will help bring peace to Mr. Niven’s family and allow him to rest in peace forever.”

Niven is the 1,650.  identified victims of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil when hijackers crashed planes into the Twin Towers (pictured), killing 2,753 people

Niven is the 1,650. identified victims of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil when hijackers crashed planes into the Twin Towers (pictured), killing 2,753 people

The remains of about 40 percent of the victims of the World Trade Center attack have yet to be identified because few complete bodies were recovered when the giant towers collapsed.

But as DNA testing has evolved, so have efforts to match more than 21,900 remains to individual victims. In some cases, scientists have looked at the same parts ten or more times in the hope that new technologies might provide answers.

Before the anniversary of the attacks last September, the office identified the remains of a man and a woman, but their names were not released at the request of their families.

The September 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.