March 28, 2019 9:35 am
Updated: March 28, 2019 7:52 pm

‘We just want you back’: Family pleads for missing Vaughan man to come home

WATCH ABOVE: As Catherine McDonald reports, York Regional Police have now released video surveillance of the York University student taken a week ago -- the day he disappeared.

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The family of a 24-year-old Vaughan man missing since leaving a hospital in Richmond Hill last Thursday say they are hoping to locate him safe and well.

“I want you to know when you are ready, please call me,” the missing man’s father Bob Abrams, who traveled from New Jersey, said during a news conference in Vaughan on Thursday morning.

“There will be no questions, expectations or judgments. We just want you back.”

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Police said Simi Abrams, who has not gone missing before, was last seen at 12:30 p.m. on March 21 when he walked away from Mackenzie Health Hospital located at 10 Trench St. near Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive.

READ MORE: Police searching for Vaughan man who went missing after leaving hospital

Investigators said surveillance video showed Abrams entering and leaving a Walmart located at 1900 Major Mackenzie Dr. W. on Thursday shortly after 2:30 p.m. the same day he went missing.

Det. Sgt. Kevin McCloskey said Abrams purchased some bread, foil trays and lighter fluid to make a makeshift barbecue set.

“I believe these purchases were made as a matter of sustenance and/or warmth for the initial stages of wherever he has walked to or headed off to,” McCloskey said.

VIDEO: Search continues for missing 24-year-old in York Region

Investigators said officers managed to locate Abrams’ phone and wallet on a path in a wood lot just west of Bathurst Street and south of Teston Road after he was reported missing by his family around 11 p.m. on Thursday.

McCloskey said police were able to track his last movements up until 3:30 p.m. in the neighbourhood of Keele Street and Teston Road.

“We have not been able to confirm any sighting of him since that period of time,” McCloskey said.

“We’re concerned because this is behaviour that is uncharacteristic, it was sudden and his indication was that he did not want to return home.”

READ MORE: Police searching for Vaughan man who went missing after leaving hospital

Authorities said the search and rescue team composed of 55 to 60 officers conducted different operations over five days spanning an area of 10 kilometres.

“I’m hoping he’s still out wandering around. I’m hoping he’s taking some time for himself to sort out whatever it is that’s caused him to walk away,” McCloskey said.

Abrams is described as five-foot-four, 140 pounds, with long, curly, dark-coloured hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white toque with a blue stripe, a dark winter coat and jeans.

The missing man’s father said he hopes the public’s awareness can lead to information on finding his son.

“I hope we are reunited very soon so we can do that cool trip we talked about doing and spending all of our time together. I love you. Come back soon,” Abrams said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact York Regional Police at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7441 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

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