Michael Gelfand is a New Jersey businessman who disappeared in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The New Orleans Police Department is searching for Gelfand, whose loved ones haven’t heard from him since January 6, 2022. According to Pix11, he is from Lakewood, New Jersey.
He’s a father of four who was only supposed to be in New Orleans for one night, the television station reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gelfand Arrived in New Orleans for Business on January 6, 2022
The New Orleans Police Department’s District 8 wrote on Facebook that it was searching for Gelfand.
“The NOPD is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Michael Gelfand (pictured; DOB: 8/9/1988) who was reported as missing today (January 11, 2022),” the department wrote.
“The reporting person stated that Gelfand arrived in New Orleans on January 5, 2022 for business and was scheduled to return to his home in New Jersey on January 6, 2022. His family has not heard from him since January 6th. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Gelfand is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080.”
2. Gelfand’s Credit Card Has Been Used, Reports Say
According to ABC7 New York, dozens of Gelfand’s family and friends have flown to New Orleans to help look for him.
Gelfand, 33, texted his wife on January 6 “that he would fly home that evening, but he never arrived,” the television station reported.
Confusing matters, Gelfand’s credit card has been used “at drugstores, grocery stores and bars,” according to the television station, making some wonder whether he’s missing or just stopped communicating on his own.
Pix11 reported that there was a report that Gelfand “was possibly spotted over the last week enjoying shopping trips and hanging out in bars.”
3. Gelfand Is a Member of the Orthodox Jewish Community
According to ABC7, Gelfand is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community, and a friend believes he wants to be found.
“Michael wants to be found, Michael needs to be found and Michael wants to be part of that community,” Nathan Ginsbury said to the television station. “He may right now have a struggle that we don’t understand — that he may not understand — but he wants to be a part of that community still.”
According to Pix11, Gelfand lives in a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood.
4. Loved Ones Set Up a Search at the Marriott in New Orleans
According to WGNO, Gelfand’s loved ones filed a missing person’s report with police and then set up a “command post” at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street.
They mapped out “possible sightings of Gelfand,” starting at the Magnolia Hotel, and learned he checked out of it on January 6, the television station reported.
Loved ones have sought surveillance videos and are searching for Gelfand using a “grid” formation.
“As a nation, Orthodox Jews believe we are all one,” says Ginsbury to WGNO. “[Michael] may, right now, have a struggle that he doesn’t understand (and) that we don’t understand. But he wants to be part of that community still.”
5. There Is Now a Reward to Find Gelfand
A $10,000 reward in the missing person’s case has circulated on Twitter.
People are using the hashtag #BringMichaelHome.
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