SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A father continues to fight for answers months after the discovery of his son's remains in the mysterious death of 20-year-old Najib "Jubi" Monsif who was missing for more than two months out of Scottsdale.
The county medical examiner released the autopsy in February, saying the cause of death is undetermined. The Scottsdale Police Department says the case remains open, but there's no indication of foul play.
The family refuses to believe that, and Jubi's father is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a suspect responsible for the disappearance and death of his son. He's also offering another $10,000 reward to find Jubi's missing skull.
Jubi is described as a peaceful, young man of few words and was adored by his family. He lived with autism, and his mental capacity was that of an eight-year-old.
His father, Najib Monsif Sr., believes someone took advantage of his son.
"Every night is a nightmare," his father said. "I go work just to not think about this situation and the minute I get off work, I think about Jubi’s remains."
What does remain of Jubi, haunts Najib. About eleven miles away from what used to be the Monsif's Scottsdale home.
The Salt-Gila Pumping Plant, the sixth pumping station on the Central Arizona Project (CAP) system, includes a "trash rake" used to scoop debris from the bottom of the canal with metal teeth. What this does is prevent material from continuing down the canal.
On Dec. 7, 2021, what the machine pulled up was absolutely unexpected.
Looking back at what led up to Jubi being found
Sept. 22, 2021, was the last night Jubi was seen by his father at his house near Via Linda and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. The next day, Scottsdale Police announced the disappearance of Jubi.
The search for Jubi begins not only throughout his neighborhood but launches across social media. On Dec. 7, human remains were found at the canal pumping station in Mesa near Loop 202 and Power Road.
On Dec. 14, 2021, police held a news conference after the skeletal remains are identified as Jubi, and a theory on his disappearance is provided. "It is possible that he could have worked his way between these two fence gates and been able to access the CAP property," said Det. John Heinzelman with Scottsdale Police.
Two gates were chained together and locked up. Behind it, the canal. Jubi was five feet, ten inches tall, and a hundred pounds
Knowing his son's size, Najib said, "It’s possible they tried one officer from the police department, so he said he could go through this. Najib doesn’t have the strength and Najib doesn’t touch stuff."
Jubi didn't like to touch things with his bare hands if he could help it.
Was there a chance he climbed over? "As you can tell, I cannot. So, I’m sure Najib cannot," his father said.
When authorities found Jubi, his skeletal remains were in an advanced stage of decomposition. His lower left arm, hand and skull are all missing from his body according to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner.
"Obviously, the whole case is very suspicious, to begin with, but without being able to point to a factor that is conclusively the cause of death, like you said before, it is really important to know what led up to this," said Dr. Rebecca Hsu, a forensic pathologist who owns a private practice in Goodyear.
She's done about 2,000 autopsies, and a case like Jubi's, she says, makes you say "darn it."
So, how hard does it make it for investigators when the state of decomposition is so advanced from the time he went missing?
"It makes things extremely difficult. You are facing now multiple problems," Hsu said. This leads the county to label Jubi's cause of death as "undetermined" due to advanced decomposition and partial remains.
The autopsy report findings suggest an "accidental drowning death," but the medical examiner writes, "however, as the remains are partial, and the head is not with the remains, the possibility of head or other trauma (from accident or assault) cannot be definitively excluded on the basis of forensic pathological or anthropological analyses alone."
Hsu says in response, "Maybe something small is missing. A rib or finger. In this case, situation, we're missing an entire head and that's a little bit unusual to never really recover everything."
It's also important to note that the top two vertebrae in Jubi's spine are not "mechanically" separated, Hsu said. Meaning it's more likely the head was severed from the body after death.
"But that still doesn't explain why he is floating in a canal that shouldn't really be accessible," Hsu said. "So that doesn't take away from the fact that it's still extremely suspicious as to why he's there."
The medical examiner goes on to say there's currently no evidence to show another person is involved in Jubi's death.
"We need to find the skull. That could give us the clue to what happened," his father said.
As for the toxicology report, Prozac, an anti-depressant, was found in Jubi's liver. Family members say he told his mother and brother he would not see them again hours before he disappeared.
"Because of the COVID, he’s been home for two years. Everybody’s depressed. He has some kind of depression, yeah, I would say so," Najib said.
As of March 24, there are no surveillance photos of Jubi in the area where police say he ended up in the canal. Within days of the search, his scent was tracked at a nearby Albertsons by search dogs.
Patrol units on the ground and in the air also focused on the canal with no trace of him.
"It’s very, very hard to keep thinking about this day in, day out, keep thinking the same thing," his father said.
For Najib, the theories move through his mind constantly, but he won't rest until he knows exactly what happened to his son.
"I don’t wish my enemy to be in my position for one second, that’s all I can tell you. I feel sorry for the rest of my family," Najib said.
He's not giving up.
"I will keep searching for my son," he said.
The autopsy report also says there was no antemortem trauma to what was left of Jubi's body, meaning no evidence of injuries occurring before his death.
Najib believes someone abducted Jubi from the street he lived on, murdered him and dumped his remains way beyond the canal in Scottsdale.
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