Sneha Philip seemed to have the perfect life.
The 31-year-old lived with her husband, Ronald Lieberman, in an apartment in Battery State Park, Manhattan.
Sneha, a doctor, was in her third year of a residency at St Vincent’s Hospital on Staten Island.
The Indian American physician was used to working long hours and would often blow off steam by having a few drinks with her friends at their usual haunts around Manhattan.
According to the New York Post, it wasn’t unusual for Sneha to stay at a friend’s house and not return home until the next day.
On the evening of September 10, 2001, that’s exactly what Ronald thought his young wife had done.
However, the next morning, two planes crashed into the twin towers – just blocks from their apartment.
Ronald, realising that he still hadn’t heard from Sneha, began to frantically call their home phone and Sneha’s closest friends.
When he still couldn’t locate his wife, Ronald embarked on a six hour journey downtown in an ambulance. Ronald finally reached his destination, only to discover he could not enter his apartment building.
He spent the night at a friend’s place and the next morning returned home to find no trace of his wife.
He immediately reported her missing according to NBCNews.
Sneha was listed as one of the 9000 presumed victims of the terrorist attack.
The next day Sneha’s brother, John, told reporters his sister had died heroically trying to save victims of the twin tower attack.
“I was on the phone with her, and she told me she couldn’t leave because people were hurt,” he said into the camera.
“She said, ‘I have to help this person,’ and that’s the last thing I heard from her.”
However, things didn’t quite add up.
As part of their investigation, police began digging into Sneha’s background. What they found led them to believe Sneha was living a double life.
According to New York Magazine, her marriage was not a happy one and she’d had several affairs with different women.
Sneha had been fired from her last job because of issues with drugs and alcohol. She had falsely reported that a co-worker had sexually assaulted her and was charged with “third-degree falsely reporting”.
She had spent the morning of September 10 in court.
When police questioned her brother John, he was quick to admit that he had made up the story about her rushing into the World Trade Center.
John said he wanted to attract attention to her disappearance. Although police suspected he knew more, he never let anything slip.
During their investigation, police were able to piece together Sneha’s last moments. At 7.11pm on September 10, she was spotted walking through Century 21 department store carrying two large shopping bags. The department store was just moments away from the twin towers.
The next morning, the security camera in her building captured a woman entering the building, standing in front of the elevator for a couple of seconds, then leaving the building.
The sighting happened just moments before the first plane hit the twin towers. Ronald is sure that woman was his wife.
As a result of the investigation, the medical examiner’s office removed Sneha’s name from the official list of 9/11 victims in 2004.
It was ruled that Sneha went missing on September 10, not September 11. Police believed she had either left to start a new life or was murdered on the night of September 10.
As the New York Daily News reported, Sneha was placed back on the list in 2008 after her family launched a successful appeal.
Her official cause of death was listed as “blunt force trauma” as a result of the twin towers collapsing.
Ten years on, however, Sneha’s disappearance largely remains a mystery.