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'Somebody knows something': Search continues for vulnerable man last seen in North York 8 months ago


This holiday season will be especially hard for those who know and love a vulnerable man who went missing almost eight months ago from North York.

Nathan, whose last name has not been released, was last seen on the evening of May 12 near Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue West.

He was 37-year-old at the time of his disappearance, and is described as four-feet-six-inches tall and approximately 170 pounds. Nathan, who had a full beard and a moustache when he went missing, was last seen wearing a hoodie with green stripes, black pants, black shoes, and a Blue Jays baseball cap.

Nathan also has Down syndrome and is described by Toronto police as “unable to care for himself.” He functions at roughly the level of a seven-year-old and requires additional supports.

Nathan grew up and spent most of his life living in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, but had moved to Toronto in the spring of 2022 to live with his sister and brother-in-law after his dad passed away last December. His mother had died 10 years earlier.

About three months after moving to North York, Nathan went missing.

Police, volunteers, and organizations have searched extensively for Nathan, who wasn’t carrying his wallet or phone with him, but there hasn’t been a single confirmed sighting of him.

“We are still holding out hope that (Nathan) might be found. … It’s just baffling that no one has seen him anywhere,” said the missing man’s cousin, Jason Babcock, who has been at the forefront of the ongoing effort to find him.

“(Nathan’s disappearance) just doesn’t make sense to us. … There’s gotta be somebody who knows something, somebody has to.”

Babcock told that he knows that the answers are out there and they will eventually come to light. He urged anyone with information about his cousin’s disappearance to come forward.

“Alive or not, just tell us what happened,” Babcock pleaded.

A poster with information about Nathan, a 37-year-old with Down syndrome who has been missing since May 12, is taped to a pole in Galt. (Daniel Caudle/CTV News Kitchener)

Nathan, who is a big Toronto sports fan, is described by many as a happy-go-lucky, ongoing person who made friends wherever he went. Some of his favourite things to do include going to the mall, having a coffee, and eating breakfast at A+W, McDonalds, and Dairy Queen.

Babcock said that Nathan would have surely been enjoying the holidays this year with his loved ones in in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, including his church family at Woodside Bible Fellowship Church in Elmira.


“Nathan just loved this time of the year. He really enjoyed spending time with his family and friends,” he said.


“Being Christmas, it’s even harder. We’re all struggling. Nathan’s disappearance has affected our whole family, right down to the kids.”


Nathan’s absence is also being strongly felt by two of his close friends, Kathleen Matthews and Dave Weber.


Kathleen Matthews and Nathan in April 2018. (Submitted: Kathleen Matthews)


Matthews, who met Nathan about 15 years ago when she volunteered with a program that pairs university students with individuals in the community with disabilities to forge friendships, said her dear friend is definitely on her mind these days, especially when she visits Conestoga Mall.


“Nathan and I used to like to go the mall together. He especially loved the video game store and then we’d go to the food court for a snack,” she shared.


“Just being there, it’s nice (to remember him), but it’s also terrible.”


Matthews said she wishes Nathan was around so she could give him the PS5 gaming system that he so wanted.


“Nathan had a large chosen family and so many of us are still thinking about him. We all miss him and his presence,” she said.


“I’m still hopeful that someone will know something and decide to share important details that could give us answers.”


Weber has also known Nathan for about 15 years. They met through Woodside’s Friendship Club, which brings together members of the church community with adults with special needs.


“Nathan was such a big part of the group. … It’s been very difficult for everyone to come to grips with (his disappearance,)” he said.


Weber said Nathan especially loved taking part in the church’s annual Christmas pageant and just loved playing the conga during services.


“When I heard he was missing, it was just heart-wrenching,” Weber said, adding many people continue to hope and pray for Nathan’s safe return.


“It’s just been so difficult not really knowing anything about where this young man is. … It’s been almost eight months now, but he’s not forgotten.”


Police are looking for 37-year-old Nathan, last seen in Toronto on May 12 (Supplied).


On Saturday, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., a small get together called Bringing Nathan Home was planned at the K-W Naval Association at 315 Weber St. N. in Waterloo. Anyone who knows Nathan as well as those who have helped support his loved ones during this difficult time is welcome to attend.


“It’s a time to bring people together, to support one another, and to share information,” said Babcock.

In a statement, Det. Shona Patterson, of Toronto Police Service’s homicide and missing persons unit, said at this time police do not have any additional updates on Nathan’s case, but said that a dedicated team of investigators is still working to find him.


“We continue to encourage the community to report their sightings or any additional information that they would like to share – either directly to our office or via Crime Stoppers. Every tip is investigated to its fullest,” she said.


“We also want to express our gratitude to those that have called in their tips, and to his cousin, Jason Babcock, who is keeping Nathan’s story in the forefront via social media. He and his family dedicate a lot of time in searching for Nathan.”


Police say they remain concerned for Nathan’s safety and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-7411 or Crime Stoppers anonymously. Top Stories

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