Who am I: Katherine

Determined Advocate

"As soon as I started, the rumors came about his story; that he had amnesia, that he was found naked and beaten and just left for dead," Katherine recalls of meeting Benjaman. "I would ask questions like, ‘What's being done on your behalf?' Things that he said were being done didn't sound like anybody was really working on it, so I asked him permission, could I look into it?"

 

Katherine started her search to find Benjaman's identity by combing missing persons Web sites on the Internet. "One of the first things that came up was the National Center for Missing Adults. I looked for everyone, and I couldn't find anything," she says. She then visited the Richmond Hill Police Department. "They said, ‘There is no report,' and I thought, that's impossible. I kept going through this, where every door I'd knock on would slam on me."

Continuing her search, Katherine went into see United States Congressman Jack Kingston. "All of a sudden, all the doors that were slamming before began to open," she says. "The FBI contacted us immediately, took another set of his [finger]prints. The newspaper came. They put him on the front page of the news." A local television station in Savannah, Georgia also featured a story about Benjaman.

"Somebody out there knows him, and if we get his face out there and stick with it and not give up, we'll find his family," Katherine says.

"Why did you reach out to him?" Dr. Phil asks Katherine.

"Initially, the story incites curiosity. You just can't help it. It's a puzzle that seems to need solving," she says. "As I observed him over a month or so, none of the pieces fit." She adds that Benjaman seemed to be highly educated and had a good work ethic. "This man could have stayed [at the health facility] and done nothing and been served himself, but he chose not to. He was up and became resident manager of the place," she says. "His moral character, his fiber was so strong that I didn't believe that someone's not missing him."

"What was your family's reaction when you took this man in?" Dr. Phil asks.

"My parents are very fond of him," she replies.

"What was your sense of what was going on with Ben at the time?" Dr. Phil probes. "How did you size him up as far as the cause of the amnesia?"

"I believe that it is something very traumatic " emotional, psychological trauma. I believe that he's too highly functioning; he doesn't have the brain damage that one would expect from a severe, let's say, close-head injury," she says.

Katherine even contacted America's Most Wanted, but they were unable to help because she didn't have a police report.

"We certainly now know that you're not at least a convicted criminal," Dr. Phil says to Ben. "Your fingerprints are not in the FBI database or anything like that."

"I don't feel like a crook," Benjaman says.