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NEW YORK — A phone call turned grief into joy for a Bronx family on Monday night.

The daughter of a New York City sanitation worker got a call from her dad, who’d been missing since Wednesday, just an hour after PIX11 News reported on the search for the man. Santiago Cordero went to a Manhattan hospital Wednesday for a COVID test, then vanished.

“He was trying to hail a cab to get home,” Rebecca Lord, Cordero’s daughter, said. “Nobody wanted to stop for him. So he finally saw an ambulance that was coming. He stopped them.”

The ambulance took Cordero to St. Barnabas Hospital, he told his daughter. The 62-year-old maintenance worker tested positive for COVID.

The grandfather of six always carried ID, so it’s not yet clear why the hospital didn’t call his family in those five days to tell them where he was. Though confused, the family is counting their blessings, especially Cordero’s wife.

She’s in quarantine herself. Carol Cordero tested positive for COVID after her husband disappeared.

“She’s ecstatic,” Lord said about her mom. “She was ready to run out there. I’m like ‘Mom – you have COVID!'”

Lord thanked PIX11 News for sharing her father’s story.