NEW YORK - A new round of DNA testing on bone fragments recovered from the World Trade Center site has identified remains of a 34-year-old Framingham, Mass., woman who was on the airplane that crashed into the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001.
Laura Lee Morabito's business trip to Los Angeles had been rescheduled twice before she boarded American Airlines Flight 11 that morning.
Her remains were found in the initial recovery effort but could not be linked to her by the DNA technology used at the time, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city's medical examiner.
The medical examiner's office now is working with the Bode Technology Group, a Virginia-based testing laboratory that has patented a new method of DNA extraction. The new system requires much less sample material than was required just five years ago.
Morabito, as a national sales manager for Qantas Airways, sometimes did double duty as a member of a quintet that sang as a sales gimmick for the airline. She was one of five women who performed wearing poodle skirts and beehive hairdos.
Morabito's husband, Mark Morabito, has said she cared for him for almost a year when he was recovering from injuries suffered in an accident.
Of the 2,750 people who died at the World Trade Center, the remains of more than 1,100 have yet to be found.
More than 20,000 human fragments recovered around the 16-acre lower Manhattan site have been entered into a database of DNA profiles of the victims in hope that some may yet be identified.
At the end of July, the new DNA test methods identified the remains of 42-year-old brokerage executive Edward Ryan, who also died in the north tower. The remains of three other people had been identified a week earlier.