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EBR investigator helped ID victims after 9/11 attacks

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BATON ROUGE - One East Baton Rouge Parish investigator remembers his assisting in identifying the bodies from the Sept. 11 attacks.

Chuck Smith is a commander for the southern region of a federal program that handles disasters known as DMORT, or Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team. Smith spent close to five months in New York after the attack.

"Dealing with families standing over a victim as they were being removed... I can remember those the sites the sounds the smells of those scenes," said Chuck Smith. 

From plane crashes in Africa to the Oklahoma City bombing, at a moment's notice Smith can be deployed to help identify victims in these horrendous disasters using forensic testing like DNA, fingerprint and dental indentification.

Smith talked about his time after the Oklahoma City bombing, which was the first major disaster he was deployed to help.

"When I stood in front of the Murrow building... I vividly remember thinking I would never see anything as devastating as this again in my life and then a few years later I saw devastation that I could never even have imagined," said Smith as he reflects on his time after the 9-11 attacks.

Smith has been part of this federal program for 21 years.

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