The heartbroken family of missing Najib “Jubi” Monsif, a 20-year-old with autism who vanished in the middle of the night from his Scottsdale, Arizona home, is holding onto hope that he will return home safely, but fear he’s in imminent danger.
“We’re on the 12th day of searching and still have no answers, no leads,” his sister Josie Monsif told Dateline late Monday. “There have been no sightings, nothing of him on surveillance video. It’s terrifying and heartbreaking.”
Josie explained to Dateline that her brother, who has autism and the mental capacity of an 8-year-old child, is vulnerable and that he’s not someone who left the house much, especially since the pandemic.
“Let’s say, even if he did leave on foot that night, where would he go? He wouldn’t have made it very far,” Josie said. “Somebody would have found him by now.”
She told Dateline that Jubi is verbal and communicates with his family, but prefers to stay at home, which is located at Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Via Linda.
Josie added that her brother often stayed up late and would eat in his room. When he came down around 2 a.m. on September 23, to throw away his trash, it was the last time he was seen.
At a press conference on September 27, Jubi’s father recalled the night being like any other night. He said he woke up, fed the dog, walked their puppy and laid down. He saw Jubi come down from his room with the trash, but quickly went back to sleep. It wasn’t until 7 a.m. that morning when he discovered Jubi wasn’t in his room. He contacted Jubi’s mom, who lives at another residence, but he wasn’t there either.
The family quickly came to the conclusion that something was very wrong.
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Josie told Dateline that her brother's belongings were left behind at the house, including his cell phone, which is very unusual for him to leave behind.
After talking with her siblings, Josie discovered Jubi had played video games with their brother, George, the night before something they often did when George was home from college. And that’s when Jubi said something odd. When his brother told him goodnight, Jubi responded by saying that he was never going to see him again.
“George was telling Jubi goodnight and he said, ‘'I’m never going to see you again,’” Josie told Dateline. “He was like, 'What do you mean?' And Jubi said, 'Nothing, I’ll talk to you later.'”
Josie said that while she realizes the comment is disturbing, she also knows her brother is vulnerable and doesn’t have the capacity, mentally or physically, to hurt himself, or anyone else.
“He's vulnerable and his words can be misconstrued,” Josie said. “He is a child. He is verbal, yes, but he's on the spectrum and you can tell that he is.”
For nearly two weeks, family, friends, the community, and law enforcement have knocked on doors, searched houses, scoured the neighborhood and combed the surrounding desert and wilderness, hoping for any sign of Jubi.
Aaron Bolin, a spokesman for the Scottsdale Police Department, told Dateline that Jubi is considered to be a vulnerable person in danger and they are doing everything they can to find him.
He explained that the SPD has “conducted an area search of the canals, mountain preserves, and other areas that Najib has frequented.”
He added that “SPD utilized numerous resources, helicopters, drones, mounted unit, bicycle unit, motorcycle unit, MCSO search and rescue, CAP officers for the canal.”
“We have also conducted a neighborhood search which consisted of approximately 650 homes,” Bolin said.
Police dogs picked up Jubi’s scent and tracked it to the nearby Albertsons grocery store about a half-mile away from his home, but that’s where the trail went cold.
With no images captured on security video, no footage of him on a neighbor’s ring light, and no legitimate sightings of him, Jubi’s family is extremely worried and believe it’s very possible that he was taken and could be in danger.
His sister Josie reiterated to Dateline that she knows her brother and knows he would not have made it far. She believes someone crossed paths with him that night and is responsible for his disappearance.
“Someone out there saw something, saw my brother,” Josie said. “All we ask is that if you see him, call 911 immediately and stay with him. Do not leave him under any circumstances.”
Josie told Dateline that there are some quirky things her brother does that might help make him recognizable to others. She explained that he walks with a distinct shuffle. And sometimes he covers his nose with his shirt.
Josie created a Facebook page “Finding Najib (Jubi) Monsif” and a GoFundMe page for her brother who she describes as gentle and wise and kind, and continues to post photos, videos, and updates in the hope someone will recognize him.
“Anything helps,” Josie added. “I’m so thankful for everything the community has done to search for him. But this is bigger than any of us. We can’t stop now.”
The Scottsdale Police Department said they are actively working on Jubi's case and continue to look into every tip and lead that comes in.
“SPD will continue to actively work all leads, tips and any other information that could lead to the location of Najib Monsif,” Bolin told Dateline.
As more time passes, Jubi’s family is holding onto hope that someone will come forward with information that will bring him home safe.
“We have hope, but we’re tired,” Josie said. “Every day and every night, he’s on our minds. We won’t give up until we find him. He’s everything to us.”
Jubi is described as being 5’10”, about 100 lbs., with a thin build. He was most likely wearing all black clothing and moccasins.
Anyone who believes they have an immediate sighting of Jubi should call 911. Anyone with information about Jubi’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Scottsdale Police dispatch at 480-312-5000.