- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2002

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

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 yesterday at the Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, where he has been a patient.

Mr. 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 of 2,819 names, which was released last week.

Miss 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.

Mr. Vaughan's sister, Claudia Benjamin, said her family notified authorities shortly after September 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 in mid-August, Mrs. Benjamin said.

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

Mrs. 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.

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

Mr. Sims, of Newark, N.J., was found alive in an undisclosed hospital, his family said.

His mother, Anna Sims, said her son may have amnesia, though he remembered his birthdate and enough of his Social Security number for authorities to contact the family earlier this month.

"I thought he was going to turn up, and he did," Mrs. Sims said yesterday. "I just kept praying and praying."

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

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

Miss Borakove said Mr. Sims was removed from their list after the New York Police Department advised them on Aug. 20 that Mr. Sims was alive.

Miss Borakove said Mr. Sims' family had given DNA samples to the medical examiner.

While no one knows exactly where Mr. Sims was the day of the attacks or how he ended up in the health facility, his family remains hopeful he will eventually recover and tell them what happened.

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