For 10 years, Randy Scott's family had taken comfort in the belief that he had been killed instantly when United Airlines Flight 175 flew into Two World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
But Randy had scrawled a message on a piece of scrap paper and tossed it from the tower:
12 people trapped
"The Note," as his family now calls it, floated to the ground amidst the wreckage of Ground Zero, eventually making its way to the medical examiner's office, where DNA and handwriting linked it to Randy.
Randy's wife and three daughters learned of its existence in August 2011.
"I spent 10 years hoping that Randy wasn't trapped in that building," Denise, 57, said Friday from a front room in her Stamford home with two of her three daughters, Rebecca, 29, and Alexandra, 22, at her side.
"I thought he was killed instantly," Rebecca interjected.
"It was so close to impact," Alexandra concluded. [...]
In a steady tone, their mother explained the power of the note. "You don't want them to suffer. They're trapped in a burning building. It's just an unspeakable horror. And then you get this 10 years later. It just changes everything."