OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland police on Sunday made a new appeal for information in the
disappearance of a then-19-year-old community college student who disappeared
a year ago on this date.
The family of Jonathan Bandabaila has increased the reward for information leading to his recovery to $10,000, police said in an announcement.
Bandabaila, who lived with his family in the Fruitvale district and attended Merritt College in the hills, left his home on May 3, 2019 to go to a soccer tournament and hasn't been seen since.
His car, a silver 1998 Honda Accord, was found parked and empty on the westbound lanes of the San Mateo Bridge the next day.
Eight months after Jonathan Bandabaila was last seen leaving his Oakland home to play in a soccer tournament, members of his family joined Oakland Police Department officers this weekend passing out fliers with photos of the young man.
Bandabaila's older brother Harrison Bandabaila said at the time that he and other family members said they don't think that Bandabaila killed himself because he was "full of joy," had planned to participate in the soccer tournament and recently bought a suit to go to a formal party with a female friend.
Harrison Bandabaila described his brother as "a caring, loving person who was very athletic."
Bandabaila told reporters, "I know he is out there because it's in our name to stay strong and determined and I hope that he knows that and sees this."
Authorities describe Bandabaila as a black man who is 5-foot-7, weighing about 165 pounds and last seen wearing a gray jumpsuit.
He was reported to be in good mental and physical condition, with no prior history of being reported missing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department Missing Persons Unit at (510) 238-3641.