'Please reach out to us': Zabia Afzal's family still hopeful as search enters 7th day

The brother of missing Toronto woman Zabia Afzal says her family is not giving up hope that she can be found safe and sound after she vanished one week ago.

The York University student and community activist went missing on May 10

Zabia Afzal, 30, has been missing for a week, and was last seen near Ashbridges Bay on the east side of Toronto. (York Regional Police)

The brother of missing Toronto woman Zabia Afzal says her family is not giving up hope that she can be found safe and sound after she vanished one week ago. 

"I want you to be safe out there; please reach out to us."

That's the message Zubair Afzal says he wants to pass on to his sister. 

"We absolutely love you."

Afzal says hundreds of volunteers have come out daily to help search for the 30-year-old York University student and community activist. 

"It has been phenomenal, it has been very encouraging, and we are very grateful as a family to them." he added.

The family has worked with police in Toronto and York Region to retrace Zabia's last known steps.

Police say she was in Vaughan about an hour before she went missing.

She took an Uber to the Toronto's Beach neighbourhood near Woodbine Avenue and Lakeshore Boulevard.

Two searchers on Toronto Islands look at posters of Zabia Afzal. (Philippe de Montigny/Radio-Canada)

Afzal says, hours after his sister went missing, some of her belongings were recovered near Ashbridges Bay, including her cellphone. 

"We have sat down various number of times within the family and also with some of the friends as well, trying to brainstorm a little bit on what might have happened," he said. "We have not been able to pinpoint anything specifically."

A search of Lake Ontario on Monday found no sign of his sister. 

While Toronto police divers searched the waters off Woodbine Beach, York Regional Police searched the area on foot collecting information from the public, Afzal said earlier this week.​

Toronto police divers search a section of Lake Ontario for missing Toronto woman Zabia Afzal on Monday. (Bill Arnold/CBC)

He added that police were expected to continue their search efforts on the ground, in the water and in the air with helicopters searching the area. Missing posters bearing photos of the missing woman are plastered on lamp posts and hydro poles all over the neighbourhood and beyond.

Friends and family also launched the social media campaign #FindZabia last week. 

Zabia Afzal was last seen wearing black pants, a black or navy zippered hooded sweatshirt and a green floral shirt. Anyone with information is asked to call York Regional Police's criminal investigations unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7441.

Zabia Afzal has been missing since last Thursday. Matt Galloway speaks with her brother Zubair Afzal about his sister and the search. 5:59

With files from Ilina Ghosh and Greg Ross