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Missing NY man found in Chicago

By Matt Wood in News on Feb 16, 2006 5:59PM

Talk about a nightmare: back in August, a 57-year old man found himself homeless in Chicago, with no idea how he got here or what had happened in his life up until then. He was living in a shelter in the South Loop and selling newspapers on State Street, tormented by his lost identity. He asked the Chicago police for help, sent his fingerprints to the FBI, called the Social Security administration to research the name he had taken to using, Jay Tower, and even wrote an email to the Sun-Times explaining his predicament. Finally this week, another resident of the shelter where he had been staying recognized his picture on the "America's Most Wanted" website.


Jay Tower is actually Ray Power, a lawyer, husband of 30 years, and father of two from New Rochelle, NY. He was last seen in New York leaving his law office in White Plains on August 1, 2005. After he was reported missing, police followed a trail of credit card charges at gas stations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, then he disappeared. His wife, who has still not seen him as he undergoes medical treatment in Chicago, thinks his amnesia may have been triggered by the terror attacks of 9/11. Power had been at the World Trade Center 15 minutes before the first plane hit, and was on a subway when it happened. Mrs. Power believes the attack brought back painful memories of his service in Vietnam, precipitating the the break. Because his amnesia wasn't related to a physical injury, doctors think he can recover quite well. They hope the fact that he chose a name so similar to his real one is evidence that his memories aren't lurking too far beneath the surface.

Wow: stranger than fiction. This is a story we'd have shaken our heads at and said, "No way," had we seen it on "Law & Order" or some wacky Dan Aykroyd 80's comedy. We're just happy for Mr. Power's and his family's sake that he's safe. He may not remember Chicago too fondly some day, but we're proud that some Chicagoans had a hand in getting him back home.