A San Francisco family is frantically searching for a Marine veteran with a head injury and trauma who disappeared from supportive housing downtown nearly two months ago.
Abraham Siliezar was captured on security camera footage leaving his home at 250 Kearny St. at 10:24 a.m. Aug. 10. He was last seen on camera in the 900 block of Bush Street wearing an oversize black jacket, blue shirt and blue jeans. He had no ID, money or cell phone.
His younger sister, Alexandra Siliezar, said her docile, 56-year-old brother — who suffered a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures and dementia — called her every day and was extremely close to her daughter, his niece.
“He would never disappear willingly,” Siliezar said by phone Saturday as she scoured Geary Street for her brother. “What I am asking from the community is to please look deeply at anyone that looks in distress or is on the sidewalk, disoriented, to please look deeply because my brother needs medical attention to save his life as soon as possible.”
For the past two months, Siliezar, her family, and friends have searched tirelessly. She’s called police, park rangers and hospitals. She’s plastered posters on the streets and social media. She has revisited his favorite libraries, parks, and beaches, and talked to members of the homeless community in the Tenderloin. But she still doesn’t know where he is, and whether he’s even alive.
The missing man last spoke to Siliezar on the evening of Aug. 9, she said. He told her he had been sick all weekend, vomiting and feverish, with a stomachache and headache. She urged him to take a taxi to the hospital, but he said he would wait till morning. When she called back soon afterward, worried, the line was busy, and she called an ambulance.
Siliezar was told by dispatch that her brother had declined medical services. Because of her brother’s traumatic brain injury, the result of an assault years ago, he struggled to understand the severity of his illness and remember to take his medicine, she said. He also had trouble comprehending directions or knowing the time of day, she said.
Before 9 a.m. Aug. 10, she called the facility where he lived, run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to request a welfare check for her brother. She said she does not believe it happened.
The San Francisco VA Health Care System is “looking into this matter” but could not provide additional information Saturday, Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jason Dominguez wrote in an email.
San Francisco Police Department issued a missing person report on Aug. 11 classifying Abraham Siliezar, who is also known as Siliezer in some official documents, as “at-risk due to numerous medical issues and his inability to care for himself.”
Abraham Siliezar grew up in San Francisco after the family immigrated from El Salvador. He entered the Marines after high school and was deployed to Japan, the Philippines, and the border of South and North Korea, his sister said. After his service, he enrolled in UC Irvine and UC Berkeley, where he completed his degree in sociology, and then worked for San Francisco’s homeless services.
After an assault that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, his PTSD worsened, his sister said. About six years ago, he moved into the facility on Kearny Street.
Siliezar said her brother was “very grateful” for the military and for his Christian faith. A quiet and gentle man who liked to be alone, he adored her 9-year-old daughter, who he called “my little angel,” she said.
Siliezar worries that her brother, who had barely eaten for three days before he disappeared, was dehydrated and delusional when he left. She pleaded with the community to look out for him and even asked sailors and surfers to look for a body in the water.
“He just needs help. He needs to be found and he needs medical attention as soon as possible,” Siliezar said. “And if for some reason he’s no longer with us in this world, he deserves to be properly laid to rest.”
The family is offering a reward for his return. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the SFPD 24-Hour Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.
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