Detail about Sneha Philip
- Missing Since: 09/10/2001
- Missing From: New York City, New York
- Classification: Endangered Missing
- Sex: Female
- Race: Asian
- Date of Birth: 10/07/1969 (53)
- Age: 31 years old
- Height and Weight: 5’6, 115 pounds
- Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gold engagement ring with a diamond in the center, a gold wedding band with small diamonds studded all around it, and earrings with diamond studs arranged in flower shapes completed the ensemble. It also included a knee-length brown collared short-sleeved shirt dress with buttons down the front, sandals, and a choker made of black and gold beads with a small cross pendant.
- Distinguishing Characteristics: Asian woman Brown eyes, black hair. India is Philip’s native country. She wears contact lenses, has a mole on her left cheek, and some agencies spell her middle name “Anne”. Philip might use the last name Lieberman of her husband. When she vanished, her toenails were painted a vibrant shade of purple.
In September 2001, Philip was a third-year resident in internal medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, New York (currently known as the Richmond University Medical Center). She chose to unwind and go shopping on September 10 since she had no obligations. At 5:15 p.m., she walked out of her Battery Park, lower Manhattan, apartment.
At 7:18 p.m. Philip was last seen. She was seen on a security camera at the Century 21 department store on September 10. At the time, she was toting two sizable shopping bags full of bed linens, three pairs of shoes, and lingerie worth about $550. She has never been heard from again and there was nothing in her apartment to indicate that she ever made it back there.
A Century 21 employee claims to have seen Philip shopping with a different woman, whom Philip claimed to be a friend. She is believed to be of East Indian ancestry and is described as being 5’2″ and 115–120 pounds with short black hair. She’s never been given a name.
Between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m., Philip’s husband Ronald Lieberman arrived at their apartment. and discovered his wife was absent that day. She frequently did this when he worked late, so he assumed she was spending the night with her brother or cousin. Lieberman did not notify the authorities of her disappearance until the following day. All of her relatives later stated that they had not seen her.
The day before the New York City terrorist attacks on September 11, when two planes collided with the World Trade Center and killed over two thousand people, Philip vanished. She was last seen after the attack running into the World Trade Center towers to offer assistance, according to Philip’s brother, who spoke to the media.
Because Philip is a doctor and lives close to the towers, the story sounded plausible, but it was untrue. Her brother acknowledged lying about the details of his sister’s disappearance in order to draw attention to her case.
Philip’s credit cards, with the exception of her husband’s AmEx card, which she used at Century 21, were all left at her house, as were her passport and other identification. Her family believes that any clues were obliterated in the chaos of September 11.
Lieberman believes she may have spent the night of September 10th somewhere else and was killed in the terrorist attack while returning to her own apartment, which was only two blocks away from the World Trade Center. He believes she went into the World Trade Center to provide medical assistance to the injured.
Police disagreed with Lieberman’s theory, claiming Philip left on her own to escape a troubled life. Her family denies allegations that she had substance abuse issues and was involved in lesbian affairs.
She was also facing criminal charges; she accused a coworker of inappropriately grabbing her, but authorities did not believe her story and charged her with filing a false complaint after she refused to recant. On the morning of her disappearance, Philip was in court on a false complaint charge. Lieberman stated that their marriage was happy and that she had no reason to leave her life.
Lieberman petitioned to have his wife declared a September 11th victim years after she vanished. There was no trace of her belongings or remains at the World Trace Center site, but many of the known victims’ remains were completely obliterated.
In 2004, a lower court declared Philip legally dead, but found insufficient evidence that she died in the September 11 attacks. Lieberman filed an appeal, and the judge who heard his case agreed in January 2008 that Philip was most likely killed in the terrorist attack.
The judge acknowledged that there was no proof of this, but stated that it was the most likely explanation for Philip’s disappearance. Lieberman cannot seek compensation for his wife from the federal September 11 victims’ fund, which closed in 2003. He stated that all he wanted was to put an end to her case and add her name to the victims’ memorial.
Philip was born in the southern Indian state of Kerala and immigrated to the United States as a child. She is a Johns Hopkins University and Chicago Medical School graduate. A year after her disappearance, her family held a memorial service for her in September 2002.
- New York Police Department 212-334-0635