In NYC, identifying the dead, and finding closure

NEW YORK — On a wind-swept island off New York City, the remains of 850,000 people rest in pine boxes in a grid of covered trenches — but many are not resting in peace.
They are the unidentified or unclaimed dead who have been found around the nation’s largest city — often with little hope of a loved one ever knowing their fate. Now, with advances in DNA technology and anthropology and with new federal funding, the city medical examiner’s office has exhumed dozens of the bodies in a new push to identify several decades’ worth.