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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
One desperate search among many
Jillian Volk asks for information about her fiancÚ - picture courtesy of ABC
Jillian Volk clings to the hope that Kevin is alive
The days following the attacks in New York have been a living nightmare for pre-school teacher Jillian Volk whose fiancÚ worked on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center.

Jillian last heard from Kevin Williams, 24, when he called her to tell her there had been an explosion and that they were being evacuated.


I just have to keep going until I know, until I hear something

Jillian Volk

Now she has been searching hospitals and other centres in the city, desperately hoping she will find him alive.

The couple, who were High School sweethearts, planned to marry on 1 December.

In describing her last 24 hours to US broadcaster ABC, she said: "It has been a living nightmare. I just want to wake up and come out of it. I just wish I could go back and just tell him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me."

Jillian's first stop was at a makeshift family reunion centre in Lower Manhattan.

Flyer for Kevin Williams - picture courtesy of ABC
Thousands who worked at the World Trade Center are missing

There was no sign of Kevin but her parents, Bill and Gail, turned up from Long Island to help.

Friends also joined the search, and made numerous phone calls as Jillian worked through the long list of places Kevin might be.

The one place she could not bring herself to visit was the morgue.

They went to Mt Sinai NYU Hospital, all the time handing out flyers containing Kevin's picture and details.

There was no news and they pressed on, passing through streets littered with debris and emergency vehicles rushing past. But Jillian seemed numb to the commotion.

Jillian with her father Bill - picture courtesy of ABC
Jillian's parents give her support

Her mother tried to stay optimistic.

"You hear about earthquake victims who have been buried alive for days on end and just come out of it," she said.

"We can't give up now. Jillian's not giving up so we are not giving up."

They visited Beth Israel Hospital. The staff could only offer sympathy and take Kevin's details.

Then they moved on to another medical centre, but without luck.

Jillian's father said: "The people were very helpful and there were priests inside who prayed, which was good."

Then, suddenly, came some hope.

Jillian asks for information - picture courtesy of ABC
No one has any news of Kevin

A friend called to say she thought she had seen Kevin on the television news.

Jillian was taken to an ABC office where they searched tapes, hoping for a glimpse of Kevin's face.

But there was nothing.

At the end of the day Jillian was emotionally exhausted and reluctantly put her searching on hold.

She said: "I feel that if I stop I am letting him down in some way. I just have to keep going until I know, until I hear something."

See also:

12 Sep 01 | Americas
Panic on the stairs
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