Hamilton

Sisters of Hamilton man missing since September appeal for help to find him

Two sisters of a Hamilton man who went missing in downtown Toronto in early September are appealing to the public for help finding their brother.

Michael Samdass's family still drives around the area of Toronto where he was last seen on Sept. 5, 2019

Michael Samdass has been missing for 10 months. He left his mother's residence in the area of Aylmer Crescent and Silvervine Drive in Stoney Creek on Sept. 3, 2019. (Hamilton Police)

Two sisters of a Hamilton man who went missing in downtown Toronto in early September are appealing to the public for help finding their brother.

Reisha Dass and Leah Gerrard said investigators have told them Michael Samdass, 40, was last seen on Thursday, Sept. 5, in the area of College and Yonge streets.

"I've been hearing rumours that he may no longer be alive," Dass told CBC News. 

"This is very concerning. We've heard people say he was murdered."

Michael Samdass with his sister Reisha. (Reisha Samdass)

Police say Samdass is six feet three inches tall with curly black hair and brown eyes, and has scars on his left leg and left knee as well as a tattoo of a Nike swoosh on his upper left arm.

He wasn't the same

Dass said her brother "was super social, outgoing, charming, and always well dressed," but in 2017, family members noticed that he was changing.

"We noticed that he wasn't the same. He became very withdrawn. He was agitated all the time. He was edgy all the time. He'd snap for no reason. It was crazy," Dass said.

"We tried to talk to him to find out what was going on but didn't get a lot of explanation.

"I just know that he was deteriorating from 2017. We had tried to get him help to see if there was something mentally going on or if he'd gotten involved with the wrong people. We were trying to find out what was going on but we couldn't."

Michael Samdass was last seen by his family on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, when he left his residence in the area of Aylmer Crescent and Silvervine Drive in Stoney Creek. (Hamilton Police)

That same year, Dass said there was an incident where Samdass attacked their father "unexpectedly." 

"So we all kind of severed ties with him. The only person who was keeping contact with him was my mom and my other sister."

Dass said there are five siblings in total.

Mom has been 'a mess' since Samdass went missing

Samdass had been living with his mother for about a year before he went missing.

On Sept. 3, 2019, he walked out of her residence in the area of Aylmer Crescent and Silvervine Drive in Stoney Creek. That was the last time his mother saw him.

"She's a mess, a disaster. Her child walked out of the door that morning and never came back," Dass said of her mother.

"As you would imagine, every parent just wants to know. Not knowing is what makes it really hard."

Leah Gerrard said they have been driving around Toronto searching the last areas where Michael Samdass was seen. (Submitted by Reisha Dass)

'He's our brother, he's our family member' 

Meanwhile, Gerrard, Samdass's younger sister, said she believes Hamilton Police Service can do more to help find their brother.

She said she had to "play the race card" to get them to issue their latest missing person bulletin on Samdass on July 13.

"I've been trying to get them to do a news release since before COVID started. Two to three weeks before [they issued it] was when I said to them, I'm sorry but I feel like because he is brown we are not getting any help," Gerrard told CBC News.

"I guess he is just a missing person to most people, but he's our brother. He's our family member. 

"We've been driving around Toronto searching the last areas where he was seen. We were there three times last week just searching the streets in downtown Toronto," Gerrard said.

CBC contacted Hamilton police for comment on the family's allegation and will update this story with any reply received.

In their July 13 bulletin, Hamilton police said they have exhausted all efforts to locate Samdass.

They're asking anyone with information to contact Det. Const. Chelsea Knowles by calling 905-546-2917 or Det. Sgt. Ben Thibodeau at 905-546-2907, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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