Families fan out in search of their missing loved ones

By Deborah Hastings

Associated Press

NEW YORK – They stood with heads bowed, holding hands, praying and waiting. They waited in line for a chance to speak into a television camera, clutching fliers and crying.

At an armory, in hospitals and on the streets of Manhattan, thousands of distraught families searched for the missing on Thursday.

Almost every sentence began the same: “Have you seen … “

And nearly every plea ended the same: “If you know anything, please call … “

Zara Kahn stood outside the armory at East 26th Street and Lexington Avenue. “If anybody has heard anything, anything, we’ve been searching days,” she said into the lens of a news camera.

She held photographs of her brother, 29-year-old Taimour Kahn. Next to her, her mother pressed fliers into the hands of strangers. Neat, black letters said, “Please call: 516-662-3408.”

Driven by desperation, more than 2,500 people stood in line at the armory, waiting to get inside to fill out missing-persons reports that sought seemingly every identifying detail: shoe size, belt size, blood type, tattoos, mother’s maiden name.

At St. Vincent’s Hospital, where many of the victims from Tuesday’s World Trade Center attacks were taken, relatives waited to find out if their loved ones had been admitted.

Others stood on the street, trying to persuade reporters to print or broadcast the names and photographs of relatives they could not find.

But the largest crowd by far swarmed the armory, where the line snaked around the building – an entire block.

Rob Fazio, 27, was looking for his father, 57-year-old Ronald Fazio. “We have Reese’s peanut butter cups for you,” read the son’s flier, which also carried a photo.

The father had not contacted his family since he called with his cell phone from the twin towers. That call – in which Ronald Fazio told his family he was fine – came during the 18-minute interval between the plane crashes at the skyscrapers.

Alice Carpeneto got a phone message and nothing else from her daughter Joyce, who worked on the 83rd floor. “She was on the machine, saying, ‘Mom, we’ve been hit by a plane and I’m leaving,’ ” the woman’s mother said.

Her daughter’s best friend and co-worker got out. That comforted Alice Carpeneto and gave her hope, but she has called every hospital without luck.

“As every hour goes on, it just gets worse,” said family friend Deborah Burton. “But we’re not giving up, because we know that means the end.”

Caroline Burbank, 29, tried to keep her mind from wandering disturbing paths. On Tuesday, her fiance, Geoff Campbell, had left early for a conference both planned to attend at the Trade Center. Campbell has not come home.

“You picture what the scenarios could have been. And that’s the worst. If he was scared or if he was alone when the building went down,” she said, breaking into sobs.

They had not set a wedding date. “We were just going to go to the Caribbean and do it ourselves,” she said.

“When he gets out, that’s the first thing we’ll do.”

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Driver arrested in fatal crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

The driver reportedly rear-ended Jeffrey Nissen as he slowed down for traffic. Nissen, 28, was ejected and died at the scene.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
3 charged with armed home invasion in Mountlake Terrace

Elan Lockett, Rodney Smith and Tyler Taylor were accused of holding a family at gunpoint and stealing their valuables in January.

PAWS Veterinarian Bethany Groves in the new surgery room at the newest PAWS location on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Snohomish hospital makes ‘massive difference’ for wild animals

Lynnwood’s Progressive Animal Welfare Society will soon move animals to its state of the art, 25-acre facility.

Traffic builds up at the intersection of 152nd St NE and 51st Ave S on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how Marysville will look in 20 years

Marysville is updating its comprehensive plan and wants the public to weigh in on road project priorities.

Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyko Matsumoto-Wright on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
With light rail coming soon, Mountlake Terrace’s moment is nearly here

The anticipated arrival of the northern Link expansion is another sign of a rapidly changing city.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead in motorcycle crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

Authorities didn’t have any immediate details about the crash that fully blocked the highway Friday afternoon.

Photographs in the 2024 Annual Black and White Photography Contest on display at the Schack Art Center on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Black and white photos aren’t old school for teens at Schack Art Center

The photography contest, in its 29th year, had over 170 entries. See it at the Schack in Everett through May 5.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett mom charged with first-degree murder in death of son, 4

On Friday, prosecutors charged Janet Garcia, 27, three weeks after Ariel Garcia went missing from an Everett apartment.

Dr. Mary Templeton (Photo provided by Lake Stevens School District)
Lake Stevens selects new school superintendent

Mary Templeton, who holds the top job in the Washougal School District, will take over from Ken Collins this summer.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.