Ten Months After Hurricane Katrina, 49 Victims Unidentified
NEW ORLEANS – Ten months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana coast, 49 people found dead in the floodwater remain unidentified, the Orleans Parish coroner said Wednesday.
Some of the remains were discovered recently as construction workers began demolishing heavily damaged homes, said Dr. Frank Minyard. Others were found by firefighters doing new searches.
"The more they go down and do work, the more remains they're finding. I think this is going to go on a good while," he said.
Federal officials shut down their mortuary operation in February and turned over the work to Minyard, whose offices and equipment were destroyed by the Aug. 29 storm.
Minyard said ongoing federal help on DNA testing has been crucial to the identification. That aid is scheduled to expire this summer, but Minyard said he and federal officials were in talks to extend it.
Nearly 1,600 deaths have been attributed to Katrina in Louisiana.