A missing San Francisco man was discovered dead in his apartment more than a month after he was captured on surveillance footage returning home, his family said.
Christopher Woitel, 50, was found in his apartment on Monday, his family said, according to Mission Local.
“Today, the San Francisco Police Department and the Medical Examiner notified us that they have located Chris,” the family said. “It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you of Chris’ passing. Please help us by preserving Chris’ legacy in your memories. Thank you for your love and caring support through these very difficult times.”
Woitel was first reported missing by his mother on Jan. 13 and he last contacted her on Jan. 9, but wasn’t heard from after that, the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement. Woitel lived on Guerrero Street and frequented Emeryville and Sonora, police said.
McClatchy News reached out to police but hadn’t heard back as of Tuesday afternoon.
Woitel’s family hired a private investigator, Scott Williams, who said he searched Woitel’s apartment but didn’t find him inside. Williams also said there was surveillance footage of Woitel entering his home on Jan. 8 but he never left, Mission Local reported.
His family said that Woitel sent “paranoid” messages to family and friends in the days before his disappearance about the U.S. Capitol attacks and escaping to the mountains, according to the publication.
Woitel’s family also said that they believe a homeless man, who Woitel had helped in the past, was connected to his disappearance, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
On Feb. 2, Williams interviewed the man, who was found with Woitel’s cell phone, according to the publication. The man also said that Woitel had been murdered.