For some strange reason, aircraft that have been totally demolished continued to be carried on the aircraft registry. My old Comanche, which I sold, was subsequently destroyed by the buyer. Still, it remained on the registry. Your government in action, I guess. (Inaction?)
Prior to this the FAA only removed an aircraft from the registry if the owner of record submitted a form declaring the aircraft totaled. There could have been national news coverage for days about the crash of a certain airplane and the FAA, in it's infinite wisdom, wouldn't remove the airplane from the registry. This current re-registration project is long overdue. Sad to hear that 15% of the listed airplanes have been totalled or dismantled.