Milton Bustillo

World Trade Center

A Wife, a Baby, a House

Life had just begun to get sweet for Milton Bustillo. In February, he and the love of his life, Laura Spordone, had a baby girl. In July, the couple married and began searching and saving for a home. Mr. Bustillo, an avid baker, set aside every penny from his job as a computer network operator at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was even planning to market his own line of cookies and cakes over the Internet. All the planning paid off, it seemed, when the couple finally found their dream house in Toms River, N.J.

But one week before the house was to be theirs, the World Trade Center was destroyed. Mr. Bustillo, 37, disappeared. "Everything was just beginning for him," said Mr. Bustillo's younger brother, Gilberto. "He was so determined to do things right. He took his time starting a family and buying a home. He wanted to be happy."

This week, a few days after his daughter, Alessandra, was baptized, Mr. Bustillo's body was found by rescuers at ground zero, and identified by his wedding ring. The family, his brother said, is convinced that the discovery was a gift from God. "At least we can say goodbye to him the right way."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 29, 2001.

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