‘We’re trying to remain really hopeful’: Kitchener man not heard from since 2017, last known to be in Toronto

Click to play video: 'Family seeks answers as Kitchener man vanishes in Toronto' Family seeks answers as Kitchener man vanishes in Toronto
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto police are asking for help finding a missing 24-year-old Kitchener resident, Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn. Caryn Lieberman reports – Nov 23, 2018

A year after he was last heard from by his family, Toronto police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding a missing 24-year-old Kitchener man.

Police said on Thursday that Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn left his family home on Nov. 23, 2017 and made his way to Toronto.

The following day he called a family member who lives in North York from a payphone at what is believed to be Union Station to say he was coming to visit. However, he never showed up at the home. Birhanu-Baynesagn hasn’t been in contact with any friends of family since Nov. 24.

Investigators said Birhanu-Baynesagn doesn’t have a cellphone and there have been no records of him travelling.

READ MORE: Review of Toronto police handling of missing person cases to take longer

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Concerned family members filed a missing person report with Waterloo Regional Police on Dec. 2.

Yalem Metekia, Birhanu-Baynesagn’s sister, said his disappearance is out of character as the family is close. She said he left a portable PlayStation with a password on a note for one of his sisters before he left in the middle of the night.

“We were all just sort of confused and not really knowing what to think … He doesn’t typically just do that,” she said.

“Because he is the type of person that worries about us, I feel like even after a few days at some point he would call us.”

Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn and Yalem Metekia. Yalem Metekia
Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn . Yalem Metekia
Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn . Yalem Metekia
Yoseph Birhanu-Baynesagn . Yalem Metekia

Metekia said the family has hired a private investigator as they hope for positive news about Birhanu-Baynesagn.

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“We still have to conform to daily life activities — still have to pay the bills, still have to go to work. You try to do the best you can,” she said.

“We’re trying to remain really hopeful. As time goes on, it does get tougher. But we’re choosing to be optimistic.”

Meanwhile, anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7411 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

— With files from Caryn Lieberman

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