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May 14, 2015

All eight Amtrak casualties identified

Victims include missing dad sought by family, Cushman and Wakefield employee and Italian national

All eight of the victims from the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia have been identified.

Bob Gildersleeve Jr., 45, of Baltimore, vice president of sales of EcolabLaura Finamore, 47, of Manhattan, senior account director for Cushman and Wakefield; and Giuseppe Piras, an Italian national, were the last three victims to be publicly identified, according to media reports. 

Gildersleeve, a married father of two, had been reported as missing. His family rushed to Philadelphia earlier in the week, handing out fliers with photo and description. Gildersleeve was traveling from Baltimore to New York City on a business trip.

"He is a remarkable Dad to our daughter Ryan and son Marc," Diana Gildersleeve said in a statement, NBC10 reported. "He is a loving son, brother and is definitely the 'fun' Uncle to his nieces and nephews. He is funny and sarcastic and lights up any room with his presence, humor and enthusiasm. He has been a dedicated employee and friend to his Ecolab family for over two decades. Our hearts are broken and we can't imagine a life without him."

Finamore had been working at Cushman and Wakefield since 2008, according to her LinkedIn page. A George Washington University alumnus, Finamore also worked at UBS and Credit Suisse. 

"Laura was an incredibly loving and giving person, touching many people each and every day through her generous spirit, thoughtfulness and compassion for others," her family said in a statement, reported by NJ.com. "She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her."

The other identified victims are Rachel Jacobs, 39, of New York City, the chief executive officer of Philadelphia-based ApparenNet; Dr. Derrick E. Griffith, 42, of Brooklyn, the acting dean of student affairs at Medgar Evers College in New York; U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Justin Zemser, 20, of Rockaway Beach, New York; Associated Press software architect Jim Gaines, 48, of Plainsboro, New Jersey; and Wells Fargo executive Abid Gilani, 55, of New York City, according to media reports.

Jacobs' family released a statement confirming her death on Wednesday, NBC10 reported.

"This is an unthinkable tragedy. Rachel was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend. She was devoted to her family, her community and the pursuit of social justice. We cannot imagine life without her. We respectfully ask for privacy so that we can begin the process of grieving."

Jacobs was named ApparenNet's CEO on March 30. She sought to help the online learning startup pivot its focus to healthcare, higher education and K-12 teacher training, according to an interview she did with Technically Philly last month.

Jacobs graduated from Swarthmore College in 1997 after studying sociology and anthropology, according to her LinkedIn page. She later earned an MBA from Columbia University. She also founded Detroit Nation, a movement to support economic development and cultural innovation in Detroit.

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Griffith, left, was the acting dean of student affairs and enrollment management at Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York in Brooklyn since September 2012.


Abid Gilani, a Wells Fargo senior vice president, is the third victim identified, according to media reports. Based in New York, Gilani served as the senior vice president of the banks' hospitality finance group for a year, according to his LinkedIn page. He previously was a vice president at Marriott International.

Zemser, whose death was reported by ABC News, was a wide receiver on the Navy football team. He reportedly was traveling home while on leave.

Gaines joined the Associated Press in 1998 and won AP's "Geek of the Month" award in May 2012 for his dedication and passion to technological innovation, the wire service reported. He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, 16-year-old son Oliver and 11-year-old daughter Anushka.

The AP said Gaines played a prominent role in the agency's video initiatives and was part of a team who won the AP Chairman's Prize in 2006 for developing the AP Online Video Network.

More than 200 people were injured when Amtrak locomotive No. 188 derailed Tuesday night near Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane. Eight passengers are in critical condition.

The train, which was traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York City, was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members.

This is a developing story. Check back for details. 

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