True Crime Society – Yohanes Kidane – missing after getting into an Uber in San Jose, CA


Yohanes Kidane is a 22 year old male who has been missing from San Francisco since August 14, 2023.

Yohanes is a graduate of Cornell University and he had recently relocated to the Bay Area after being hired by Netflix to work as a software engineer.

Yohanes is one of three siblings – his older brother is Yosief and his younger sister Sara.  

Their parents immigrated to the US from Eritrea and they were all born and raised in Rochester, NY.  

The family are extremely close.  “There’s no me without Yohanes,” Yosief told Dateline, tearfully. “He’s my best friend in the world.”

“He’s always been right by my side.” “People have always confused us. Our names, our appearance, our mannerisms,” he said. “We were fortunate to study together, grow up together, learn together.”

The two brothers even went to the same college: Cornell University. “When he came in doing computer science, it kind of piqued my interest and made me a little competitive. So I started taking some classes and ended up really enjoying it,” he recalled. “Even though he’s a year younger than me, I had the privilege of being his homework partner in our algorithms class.”

“He was one of the best engineers out of his class at Cornell,” Yosief said. “Very smart, bright individual.”

Yohanes graduated from Cornell in May 2023 and he moved soon after to San Jose to start his job with Netflix.  

“He was super excited to start working at Netflix,” Yosief said. “He was always talking about how wise and capable his coworkers were.”

Yosief last spoke to Yohanes on Sunday August 13, 2023.  “He had work the next morning, but we talked for an hour,” he recalled. “He caught me up on a lot of stuff that was happening at work.”

Sara checked Yohanes location on his phone and noticed that it had changed.  

“Somewhere around 8 p.m., she saw his phone location at the Golden Gate Bridge, which wasn’t anything out of the ordinary,” Yosief said. “Figured he could have been meeting a friend or, like, checking it out with maybe work people or something.” The Golden Gate Bridge is more than an hour away from Yohanes’s apartment.

The next day, Tuesday August 15, Yohanes location still showed as the Golden Gate Bridge.

Yosief said his sister started to panic. “She’d been calling, trying to see what he’s doing. He never picked up,” he recalled. “She calls me, wakes me up before I start work, and we start calling his phone, calling friends, trying to see where he could be.”

Sarah and Yosief kept watching Yohanes location and saw that his phone started moving.  They called it and a stranger answered.  He said he had found the phone, and Yohanes wallet (with $30 cash, cards and ID) at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center.

Yosief said “Someone who was in San Rafael, who was on a commute, saw a phone and wallet sitting on this small grassy hill right between the Welcome Center and coffee shop. Thirty bucks in cash was in his wallet, ID cards, phone untouched.”

“He said he would help us get them back to Yohanes and so we focused our efforts on actually finding out where he was,” Yosief said.

Yohanes siblings called the San Jose Police Department and asked them to do a welfare check at Yohane’s apartment.  He wasn’t there.  Police also went to Netflix and found that Yohanes had never showed up for work on the Tuesday.  I assume he went to work on Monday (after he spoke with Yosief) as I haven’t seen that stated otherwise anywhere.  So it seems that something happened to him on Monday afternoon/evening.

Police started investigation and discovered that Yohanes got into a black Toyota Uber at around 7.15pm outside of his apartment on N 4th St in San Jose.  This is the last time Yohanes was seen.  

On August 19, Yosief told Dateline that as far as he knows, the Uber driver had not been identified.  

According to the GFM for the family in this case, Yohanes had a strange experience with an Uber driver just days before he disappeared.

On Saturday, August 12, he had a strange encounter with an Uber driver when trying to get home to San Jose from San Francisco. The driver was insistent on taking him through Oakland, and Yohanes, suspicious of his intentions, was finally able to cancel his ride after crossing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. After this ordeal, he expressed his hesitancy in ridesharing alone.

The family filed a missing person’s report with the San Jose PD.

“The investigation has uncovered no evidence to suggest that a crime has occurred,” SJPD said. “San Jose Detectives have kept Mr. Kidane’s family advised of all pertinent developments in the case. The case will remain open until Mr. Kidane is located.”

The family were notified that on Tuesday August 15 Yohanes’ backpack, laptop and personal documents were also found.  “We’re not exactly sure where, but we assume some proximity to the bridge,” Yosief said.

Yosief told Dateline that his entire family flew from New York to the Bay area. “My family started hanging posters around San Francisco, around medical centers, youth shelters, homeless shelters, anywhere you might have looked for aid or respite,” he said. “I walked around the bridge for hours.”

Yohanes mother Mehret Hana Beyene, has been pleading for her son’s safe return. She said that she wants to take him home and that she needs her son. Mehret added that her son is a “good man” with a bright future who loves his family a lot.

Yohanes is 5’8” and 150 lbs. He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a black hoodie, and black shoes.

Anyone with information about Yohanes’s disappearance is asked to call the San Jose Police Department at 408-277-0531.



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