What happened to 'Jubi'? FBI, Scottsdale PD's search continues for missing man with autism

More than six weeks later, and there’s still no trace of a 20-year-old man from Scottsdale who has autism.

According to Scottsdale Police officials, there are no updates on the search.

"There are zero leads. The police have done a very long list of actions to find him," said Najib Monsif's sister, Josephine Monsif.

Meanwhile, the FBI is teaming up with the Scottsdale Police Department to locate Monsif, and his family is doing whatever it takes to find him, including an offer of up to $100,000 for his safe return.

"Everyday is harder and harder, watch my kids suffering, watch Jubi’s mom suffering, it's very hard, but we have to go through it. We are determined to find our son," said Monsif's father, Najib Monsif Sr.

Najib Monsif

Najib Monsif


If you truly know Najib Monsif Jr. then you know him as "Jubi."

The 20-year-old has autism and loved ones say he has the mental capacity of an eight-year-old child. He's about 5 foot 10 inches.

There are some things you should know about him: Najib is described as smart and kind. He shuffles when he walks. He pulls his shirt up to his face. He plays video games. He adores his puppy.

If you ask his older sister, Josephine, to know him, is to love him. 

"Just a very happy kid who knows that his family loves him. He's surrounded by so much love, sometimes an overwhelming amount of love," Josephine Monsif said.

Right now, his family is broken after the young man they call their "heart" mysteriously vanished in the night.

"If I say it's a nightmare, it's an understatement," said his father Najib Monsif Sr.

September 23, 2021

Since Sept. 23, loved ones fear Najib is in real danger.

His father saw him last.

"I saw him around two o'clock on Thursday morning and he's gone. At seven o'clock in the morning, I check in his bed and he's gone," the worried father said.

"For whatever reason, Jubi left that night and had some sort of plan that we’ll never know, but whatever happens that caused him to disappear was not part of that plan," said Josephine.

Monsif's family is adamant that someone kidnapped him from his Scottsdale home near Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Via Linda.

Police searched the neighborhood, door to door.

"So how we start these investigations is kind of from the house in concentric circles out and so we look, we've knocked on doors, over 500 different homes, we've contacted, we've searched backyards the desert area. There's a canal that runs nearby," explained Scottsdale Police Det. John Heinzelman.

The police department has used a multitude of resources since Najib went missing.

"Helicopters, drones, we had search and rescue crews that were on horseback, on ATVs. We had search dogs. We also had specifically trained cadaver dogs," Heinzelman said.

During the initial search, police dogs tracked Najib's scent to an Albertson's about a half-mile away from his home and detectives have scoured the area for any credible surveillance images of him. So far, there haven't been any sightings of Najib in the area he went missing in.

"We do believe that he must have received help from somebody to get himself out of the neighborhood," Heinzelman said.

‘Who knows?’

"My brother doesn't have the capability to physically or mentally to do this on his own to survive out there with just the clothes on his back, to drive. We knew that day that someone was involved. Whether they took him, got in a car, who knows?" his sister Josephine wondered.

Najib left home without his wallet and cell phone.

He wore moccasins.

But, something he said to family members stands out.

"The day before he went missing, he said to my mother and my brother separately that they would never see him again. He waved it off both times, didn't mention it again," Josephine remembered.

She says her little brother has said similar remarks in the past and that they've been taken with a grain of salt.

Bottom line: Najib is vulnerable and his sister believes he's with someone.

"Someone evil as this person, to take advantage of someone with autism, knows that they are dealing with a child, someone who can't defend himself, someone who can't properly take care of himself," Josephine said.

‘We are seeing a lot of adults going missing’

Lori McIlwain is the co-founder of the National Autism Association.

Since 2009, her team has been collecting data on missing people with autism.

"There is a steady increase of individuals going missing mostly just kids, but we are seeing a lot of adults going missing too, depending on how they are impacted by autism," McIlwain said.

Each person with autism is unique, experts say. No two people on the spectrum are the same.

If they're missing, McIlwain says the risks can vary.

"If they are a little bit more higher functioning, usually somebody else is involved. If they're lower functioning, usually it's drowning or traffic injuries that are the highest risk," McIlwain explained.

Najib's online activity

Najib is the third oldest of four children and enjoyed playing his Play Station 4 online with his brother George who attends the University of Arizona.

They're best friends.

Det. Heinzelman was asked if Najib could have been lured by a stranger through online gaming, but he says Najib didn't chat with anyone using text or voice while gaming.

"According to George, he very rarely spoke other than to George most of the time …," Heinzelman said.

Police have subpoenaed Sony, for his Play Station 4, and Twitter for communication records from Najib's accounts.

What's been done, what's happening now

In the meantime, Najib's family says they won't rely on law enforcement alone to find him, taking to social media for the past month to sound the alarm, daily, with a Facebook group of thousands of members helping the cause.

Josephine constantly does interviews to spread awareness.

"It's so emotionally draining to even have to talk about the worst thing that's ever happening in your life all day, every day but, you know, you have to because if this reaches the right person, that's all I need to keep doing it," Josephine said.

All the Monsif family wants is "Jubi" – home.

"He's the most special one among the four kids and always so special. I love all of them, but he was the center of this family," his father said.

"It's heartbreaking to deal with the pain in yourself, let alone seeing it in your family's eyes, let alone your parent's eyes. We don't even know what to do with ourselves besides put all of our energy into this and a piece of my heart is gone," Josephine said.

Najib's family is raising funds to hire a private investigator and they also want his missing poster on several billboards.

"We will not stop looking. We are very aware that someone is involved and guilty. Is a very heavy burden to carry throughout a lifetime," said Josephine.

"We're gonna fight 'till the end of our life, until we find Jubi to see what happened to him," said Monsif Sr.

If you have tips that can help police, contact the Scottsdale Police Department at 480-312-5000.

Donate to the family's GoFundMe to help find Najib here.

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