Men Missing Since 9/11 Found Alive
Tue Aug 27, 7:26 PM ET
By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Writer


NEW YORK (AP) - Two men listed for months as missing in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center have been discovered alive in area hospitals, city officials said Tuesday.

In addition, the city medical examiner's office said a revised list of the missing and dead is expected to reflect at least five similar cases when it is released next week.

"Tell everyone I'm alive and in good health," said Albert Vaughan, 45, when reached by telephone Tuesday at the Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, where he has been a patient.

Vaughan has been removed from the city's official list of people missing after the attack, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city medical examiner. She said another man, George Sims of Newark, N.J., whose family recently learned he was alive and in a New York hospital, has also been removed from the list released last week.

Borakove said investigators have found at least five other people on the city's missing list who are alive, but she would not provide any information about them.

Vaughan's sister, Claudia Benjamin, said her family notified authorities shortly after Sept. 11 about her brother's disappearance. She said he had been homeless for years before the terrorist attack and had been living in subway stations.

The last time anyone in her family had seen him was in the subway station below the World Trade Center about a month before Sept. 11, Benjamin said.

"My daughters go to work about 8 in the morning and they'd always say, 'Mom, I saw Albert,'" Benjamin said. "But after the World Trade Center thing, they didn't see him no more."

Benjamin said officials at a New York hospital told her family about two months ago that her brother was alive and in the hospital's custody. He was later transferred to the psychiatric hospital in Rockland County.

Vaughan said he had no recollection of the morning of Sept. 11 and did not seem aware that his family had feared he was dead.

Sims, of Newark, N.J., was found alive in an undisclosed hospital, his family said. His mother, Anna Sims, said her son may be suffering from amnesia, though he remembered his birthdate and enough of his Social Security ( news - web sites) number for authorities to contact the family earlier this month.

"He doesn't even know where he's at," Sims said. "He calls me 'Mrs. Sims.' He doesn't even know me as 'my mother.'"

She said the family reported him missing Oct. 7 after hearing he might have been near the twin towers.

Borakove said Sims was removed from the official list after the New York Police Department advised the medical examiner's office on Aug. 20 that Sims was alive.

The city last week released its list of 2,819 people killed or missing in the terrorist attack, including Sims and Vaughn.

"They're constantly re-evaluating the whole list," Borakove said.

 


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