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Hamilton man missing since 2019 found alive in U.S., by volunteer search group

A Hamilton man who had been missing for nearly four years has been found alive by a volunteer search group.

Michael Samdass, now 43, was last seen in Toronto in September 2019 but was found in the United States

A man.

A Hamilton man who has been missing for nearly four years has been found alive by a volunteer search group.

Michael Samdass, now 43, was last seen in Toronto in September 2019 but was found in the United States on Thursday.

"It's so important to do what the Samdass family did, never give up," Brett Robinson, the case analysis director of Please Bring Me Home (PBMH), told CBC Hamilton in a phone interview.

Hamilton police Const. Krista-Lee Ernst, a public information officer, said in an emailed media release Samdass was found "in good health."

Until now, Samdass's family last saw him on Sept. 3, 2019, when he left his Stoney Creek home. He was spotted in downtown Toronto two days later, but seemed to vanish after that.

At the time, HPS said it was "out of character for him" and his family was concerned.

'I am overjoyed to share that my brother… is ALIVE!'

Reisha Dass-Fisher, one of Samdass's four siblings, said in a Facebook post Thursday "I am overjoyed to share that my brother Michael, who has been missing since September 2019, has been located, and is ALIVE!"

Dass-Fisher said the family is still gathering details and would "kindly appreciate privacy" while they navigate next steps.

"Thank you all for your continuous support and love throughout this challenging time. We are deeply grateful to Please Bring Me Home, Hamilton Police Service, and all the incredible individuals who supported us," she wrote.

"Their unwavering assistance led to the whereabouts of our missing brother, and we cannot express our gratitude enough. The road ahead is long, but today was a good day."

Dass-Fisher previously told CBC Hamilton her brother was "super social, outgoing, charming, and always well dressed" but in 2017, he became "withdrawn" and "agitated all the time.

"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."

When Samdass went missing, it crushed the family.

In 2021, they posted a $25,000 reward in hopes of finding him.

How was Samdass found?

It's unclear if Samdass wanted to be found.

Robinson notes the family didn't want him to share the exact circumstances of Michael's discovery, but said to his knowledge Samdass has been found and they'll be reunited.

Some of the tactics used to find people include street searches, speaking with family, using public documents like property records or facial recognition software and other firms or consultants.

He said PBMH brought on Reed Research, an Ontario-based investigative firm, to help the search.

Robinson said the team "located a picture of somebody we thought might have been" Samdass.

He said the team worked with Diligence International Group, an American investigative firm, who got enough information for the groups to believe they found Samdass.

From there, the team contacted Hamilton police, who then worked with Toronto police to identify Samdass.

"They went in person yesterday to meet with the family and let them know they had located him," Robinson said.

"That's why we do what we do. To bring closure for the family."

A PBMH Facebook posts said "make no mistake, Michael was found because his family stayed loud."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bobby Hristova

Reporter

Bobby Hristova is a journalist with CBC Hamilton. He reports on all issues, but has a knack for stories that hold people accountable, stories that focus on social issues and investigative journalism. He previously worked for the National Post and CityNews in Toronto. You can contact him at bobby.hristova@cbc.ca.

With files from Desmond Brown and CBC News

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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