Today’s news:

Remains of Bayside Hills man ID’d 3 1/2 years after Sept. 11

George L. Merino, 39, who worked as a securities analyst for Fiduciary Trust International on the 90th floor of Two World Trade Center, was one of three victims identified by the medical examiner's office March 11.He had lived in Bayside Hills with his wife Olga and teenage daughter Tania. Olga Merino declined to comment for this story but told the TimesLedger in 2001 that the last time she heard from her husband was on that fateful day, when he called home shortly after the North Tower was hit."What I remember him saying was 'next door, fire, chopper, smoke, people jumping out of windows,'" Olga Merino told the TimesLedger. "He asked me to call his parents."She had spoken of her husband's devotion to his family."He was father of the year if you ask me," Olga Merino said at the time. "He was very close to his family."The family moved from Flushing to Bayside two years before two hijacked commercial airlines crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman at the medical examiner's office, said the three men identified this month, including Bronx firefighter Hector Luis Tirado, Jr. and Luis Manuel Lopez, would likely end the city's identification process based on the limits of the current technology. To date, nearly 1,600 victims of the terror attacks have been identified and confirmed out of the 2,749 still reported missing.Borakove said the medical examiner's office would keep the rest of the remains for future identification, to be stored at the Ground Zero memorial once it is finished."We're holding onto them until we get some new technology," she said.She said the families of the three recently identified victims would be able to claim the remains, but she could not say if Merino's family had done so."If they want to claim them, they can," Borakove said. "They'll be here until the permanent memorial is built." Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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