The Missing: Queens nurse vanished after going out for walk; wife riding No. 7 train to find him

The Missing

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens — Cathy Albright looked distraught but determined when she boarded the No. 7 train recently at Junction Boulevard in Queens, carrying posters about her missing husband, Richard “Max” Albright.

“This is our stop; we live right down the street,” she told commuters, as she stood in the middle of one subway car, holding posters translated into Chinese and Spanish. “He’s a registered nurse at the Hospital for Special Surgery.”

Missing NYC nurse Richard Albright
Photo of Manhattan nurse, Richard “Max” Albright, 69, who has been missing since Oct. 14, when he was last seen near his home in Jackson Heights, Queens, according to police and his employer, the Hospital for Special Surgery. (NYPD)

The 69-year-old nurse went missing more than a month ago, on Thursday morning, Oct. 14.  

Cathy Albright recalled her husband’s feet had been bothering him, so he went for his usual walk wearing slider slippers. Surveillance from the lobby of their building on Junction Boulevard showed her husband shuffling a bit as he left the lobby. He never came back.

“I looked at the camera,” said the building’s super, Tony Reyes.  “We saw him leaving at 11:18 in the morning.  And after that, he walked towards Northern Boulevard.”

Cathy Albright was upset that police didn’t get surveillance from TD Bank, where her husband did business near the corner of Northern and Junction Boulevards.

“They have to have a subpoena to access their cameras, and the NYPD says they do not issue subpoenas in missing persons cases,” the wife said.

For more than four weeks, Cathy Albright has been emotionally and physically exhausted by the strain of her husband’s disappearance. 

“He’s a great person; we have a wonderful marriage,” she said. “The not knowing, it’s paralyzing.”

Detectives have had to consider multiple theories on Richard Albright’s disappearance.

“How many times have they said, ‘Are you sure he doesn’t have a girlfriend?'” the missing man’s wife said with exasperation. “It’s so hurtful, because my husband is cut from another cloth,” Cathy Albright said.  “If he wants to leave, he would tell me he wants to leave.”

The couple met in Amarillo, Texas about 23 years ago. Aside from his degree in nursing, Richard Albright had a journalism degree, and he was Cathy’s editor at the newspaper where they worked.

The couple married and decided to move to New York. Cathy Albright had lived here when she served in the Coast Guard. Both loved the sights and food in the city.

Cathy Albright said her husband underwent three open heart surgeries and two knee replacements.
He needed special medication to prevent infection after the knee operations.

He’d recently visited his brother’s family in Kentucky.

Since childhood, Richard Albright was a world traveler.  His parents were Southern Baptist missionaries who raised their children in South Africa.

“When he was a kid growing up in Africa, he had malaria and survived that,” Albright’s wife noted.
“He ate poisonous tomatoes and almost died.”

While her husband had heart trouble, Cathy Albright had her own health concerns with diabetes.

“The only time he called out from work, in 16 years, is when I’ve been sick,” Cathy Albright told PIX11 News.

During her search for her husband, who is six feet, three inches tall, Albright has checked a lot of places.

“There are 61 hospitals in the five boroughs,” Albright said.  “And we called them – asked for John Does, asked for a description and nothing!”

At one point, Albright hired a private investigator who charged $125 an hour. He learned that Richard Albright had taken a bus on Oct. 14 and later bought a 30-day MetroCard.

But Albright’s debit and charge cards have not been used since that day.

Albright used to take the No. 7 train from Jackson Heights to his nursing job in Manhattan.
His wife has a message for commuters, when she travels car to car with her posters.

“You have to share your location on your phone with someone,” Albright told the subway travelers.  “If they don’t know where you are, they cannot look for you in this enormous city.”

She then asked the riders to share her husband’s poster on their social media sites.

“I want him to come home,” Albright told PIX11 News.  “I want to find what happened to him.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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