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Family of Missing Teen Says Oakland Police Notified Public of Missing Dog Faster Than for Their Loved One

The Oakland Police Department is facing scrutiny after a family claims it took just two days to issue a memo about a missing dog but cops dragged their feet on sending out a similar search notice about local teen Jonathan Bandabaila, who’s been missing since May.

Bandabaila’s disappearance has left his family desperate and searching for answers, however, they say the police have been of little help in notifying the public about their missing loved one.

Jonathan Bandabaila

Oakland police shared this image of Jonathan Faiyah Bandabaila, 19, on May 21, 2019 after he wasn’t seen or heard from for several weeks. (Photo by Oakland Police Department)

“One of my family’s complaints was that the Oakland Police Department put out a memo that there’s a dog missing — two days after it went missing …” Bandabaila’s brother, Harrison Bandabaila, said in a recent interview on Sirius XM’s “The Clay Cane Show.” “Yet It took them 149 days to put out that Jonathan was missing.”

“Like, it’s very frustrating,” he added.

The 19-year-old was last seen May 3 after leaving his home to drive to a soccer tournament, the East Bay Times reported. His car, a 1998 silver Honda Accord was found the next day parked in westbound lanes of the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge.

Inside were some of Bandabaila’s belongings, including his soccer uniform and clothes he planned to wear to an upcoming formal event. 

Relatives described the teen as an “amazing person” and said they have no idea why he would just up and disappear.

“I don’t think he ran away,” Harrison said at the time. There were no signs of depression or mental illness. He was happy. We just want to know what happened to him.”

Harrison also voiced frustration with the fact that his brother’s vanishing was also very much absent from the news cycle. He noted how his mother would tune into the cable news every night hoping someone might be covering their story.

“There’s other situation’s going on in our society, in our community and they (the media) are reporting about stuff that, you know — it’s something to report on, there’s important things. But there are other things more important than that.”

The Bandabaila’s family is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to Johnathan’s whereabouts.

Hear more of the interview below.

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