Kitchener man 'vanished into thin air' in Toronto 1 year ago: Police

Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn, 24, left his home in Kitchener on Nov. 23, 2017, and travelled to Toronto. He called a relative the next day to say he was coming for a visit, but then vanished without a trace, police say.

'We just don't have any clue as to what would have happened,' sister says

Yoseph Birhanu Baynesagn left his Kitchener home on November 2017 and travelled to Toronto, where he was going to visit a relative. But Birhanu Baynesagn never showed up. (Waterloo Regional Police)

On the evening of Nov. 23, 2017, 24-year-old Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn left his home in Kitchener and went to Toronto.

The next day, he called a relative in North York from a payphone at Union Station and said he was coming over to visit.

But Birhanu-Baynesagn never arrived.

"He sort of seems to have vanished into thin air," Det. Const. Joel Manherz with the Toronto Police Service said in an interview nearly a year after the mysterious disappearance.

Yalem Metekia, Birhanu Baynesagn's older sister, says the family has been trying to piece together where he could have gone.

"It's really hard to understand," Yalem Metekia, Birhanu Baynesagn's older sister, told CBC News. "We just don't have any clue as to what would have happened or where to look at this point."

'Someone has to know something'

Most missing person cases are resolved in a week, Manherz said.

"In most cases, we have some idea as to where they may have gone," he said. 

But, he added, this isn't like most cases.

Manherz said Birhanu-Baynesagn was not carrying a cellphone when he went missing and police have checked in with local shelters and hospitals with no luck. They have also not seen any bank activity.

On the anniversary of his disappearance, the family and police are asking anyone with information to come forward. The family has also hired a private investigator to help.

"Someone has to know something," Metekia said. "We just want new information to go off to look into whatever hints might be there that we may have missed."


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