Local News

Raleigh Family Grieving For Missing Niece In World Trade Center Attack

Posted September 20, 2001

— The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 have affected us all in one way or another. It is hard to imagine what the victim's families are going through. A Raleigh man knows.

Fred Strang looks at a picture of his niece on the front page of her hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania. Maria Behr, 41, worked her way up to become a securities trader for

Cantor Fitzgerald

in New York.

Last week, Behr was on the 104th floor of Tower One at the World Trade Center when a hijacked jet slammed into it a few floors below. Behr and more than 700 of her fellow employees remain unaccounted for.

"Her desk was only 35 feet from the windows, so she didn't stand any chance at all," says Strang.

Strang says Behr's family contacted him shortly after the attack. It was not long before the grieving began.

"Our emotions, throughout my whole family, were bad. Crying and stuff like that, you know," he says.

Strang's wife and daughters went to be with Behr's family. They helped gather her toothbrush and hairbrushes for DNA testing.

Given Behr's proximity to the initial crash, the family is not holding out hope of identifying any of her remains.

The tragedy makes them wonder how something so bad could happen to someone so good.

"She has worked from the bottom to get where she is and then somebody comes along and takes her life after all her hard work. It's not right. It's not right," says Strang.

Although Maria Behr is among the 6,333 people still listed as missing, her family is not waiting for official word of her death. They are holding a memorial service in Pennsylvania for her this weekend. Strang's wife and daughters will be there.

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