He claims amnesia.
Father Time was not kind to her. The link has pics.
He has risen from the dead.
A married father of three who vanished in 1990 and was later officially declared dead has come back to life.
Manhattan Surrogate’s Court Judge Rita Mella made the resurrecting ruling on April 13 — just two weeks after Easter — saying that a California amnesiac was in fact the missing man.
The undead decision ended a bizarre and nearly unbelievable six-year legal quest by Kwame Seku, 69, to regain his original identity as Winston Bright.
“He is elated,” Bright’s lawyer, Emilee Wyner, said Friday. “He was very happy to be done with this and find some finality.”
To prove he was the real deal, Bright, who continues to use his adopted name of Seku, presented the court a DNA test that matched the missing man. His mother and his siblings also testified at a hearing in 2015 that he was their missing family member.
“The court finds that Kwame Seku has established his identity,” Mella wrote in her decision.
“Winston K. Bright is no longer presumed to be deceased.”
Bright, who was a telephone utility worker, kissed his wife and children goodbye before heading to work on the morning of Oct. 12, 1990 — then never returned to their East Village home.
After years of searching, including working with NYPD detectives to track him down, Seku’s wife, Leslie, had him declared dead in 2000 in order to collect his pension and insurance.
But Bright wasn’t pushing daisies — he had actually suffered amnesia and somehow ended up in San Diego, where he stayed at a homeless shelter and slowly established a new life.
The man who didn’t know his name or past got a California court to recognize him legally as Kwame Seku. He also went to school and became a teacher.
Seku has given vague responses on how he actually determined he was Winston Bright.
During his hearing, he testified that when he visited New York City in 2008, he was recognized by an acquaintance from a Jehovah’s Witness group he belonged to before his disappearance. The acquaintance in turn notified his wife, Leslie Bright.
Seku also said that in 2008 his aunt managed to track him down in California and relayed his whereabouts to his family in New York.
He eventually began to remember bits and pieces and gingerly reconnected with his family.
He visited them for the first time in 2009.
But the homecoming wasn’t so joyful.
Leslie Bright, who still lives in the East Village, told the Daily News on Thursday that Seku is indeed her missing husband, but scoffed at his amnesia alibi since she has never seen any medical records to show he had it.
“I know if I had a family and I had amnesia, I would show them,” Bright said.
“He just expected us to believe it. I would have been shouting it off to the roof to my kids to let them know what happened.”
Seku first went to court in 2012 to regain his identity. His first petition was thrown out for lack of proof. But the DNA test helped persuade Mella.
“It’s been so long and (we) weren’t sure what was going to happen,” Wyner said.
Part of the reason he wanted to prove he was Winston was so he could collect the Verizon pension from his days working as a utility worker, according to the estranged wife.
That ruffled Leslie’s feathers since the pension currently goes to her. She said he eventually decided not to pursue the pension.
Leslie, 67, said they are still technically married but he lives in California. He calls her every three months or so, she said.
“I think he wants to be a part of my life,” she said.
Seku’s lawyer said he did not want to discuss the decision.
But she said he has found some peace with his kids. And he is close with Mary Bright, his 85-year-old mother, and his siblings.
At the hearing, Mary testified that when she first set eyes on Seku, she knew he was her missing son. He had the same mannerisms and eyes as Winston, she said.
But his wit was the dead giveaway.
“He was always making jokes and things,” she said. “He still had that sense of humor about him.”