One month ago, John C. Lormans, a 77-year-old Ward 7 advisory neighborhood commissioner, took some luggage to Union Station to be sent ahead to New York City. That evening, he called a friend to say he was going to visit his sister in Harlem and would be back the following week.

That telephone call seems to be the last time friends or family heard from Lormans. He has been missing since, and police say they have no lead.

Neighbors on 55th Street SE have been keeping a more vigilant eye on his home on that block since learning about Lormans' disappearance. Members of Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church and Lormans' ANC colleagues have raised a $1,300 reward for information about him.

"It's just an uncanny, deplorable situation to have a person disappear with no trace of him," said ANC 7E Chairwoman Minnie Robinson.

"We're just hoping he took off and had himself a vacation," said Cornelius Johnson, a neighbor.

Relatives in the Washington area reported Lormans missing on June 7 or 8, police said.

"I suspect he's hospitalized somewhere -- probably in New York," said D.C. police Det. Thomas Hardesty, who plans to drive to New York today to search for leads. Hardesty said Lormans was alert and had no significant health problem, but he said older people who vanish often turn up in hospitals where they are treated for dementia or a sudden illness.

Hardesty said yesterday he has been in contact with New York City police, who have "checked all of their unidentified people . . . . They don't have anyone" who fits Lorman's description, he said.

While police cannot be sure that Lormans got on a train the morning of May 27, they suspect he made it to New York City because police have not found luggage waiting for him at Grand Central Station or any stop between Washington and New York.

According to police and neighbors, Lormans frequently traveled to New York to visit his 83-year-old sister, Sadie Ryan. A friend of Ryan's said yesterday that Lormans was planning to move the sister to Washington so he could care for her.

"The last time I spoke {to Lormans} was the 24th of May," said Annie Springer, a woman who has been taking care of Ryan at Ryan's New York apartment, who said Ryan was unable to go to the telephone.

"After he didn't come, I got worried," said Springer. She said she called Lormans' answering machine several times. Springer said she became more concerned when her calls were not returned, so about three weeks ago she called Minnie Robinson, the ANC chairwoman, to find out where he was.

Lormans, a retired postal service worker, lived alone in the red brick duplex he and his wife Grace purchased in 1952, his Capitol View neighbors said.

Lormans has lived alone in the house since his wife's death 10 years ago. The couple had no children, but his civic activities, his rose bushes and small vegetable garden kept him busy, friends said.

He has been an ANC commissioner for 10 years and was chairman of the building fund committee at his church a few blocks away.

Dorothy M. Jackson, who lives across the street, said he was usually working in his yard by 6 a.m. It was also common to see him walking the block and the alleys behind the houses, "to see who was taking care of their back yards as well as their fronts," Jackson said.

She said she misses going out on her porch in the morning and hearing Lormans say, "Hi, neighbor."Staff writer Virginia Mansfield contributed to this report.