UNION SQUARE (PIX11)-- Brian Gewirtz and Philip Arabadjis are decades apart in age. But what they have in common has brought their families together.
They met for the first time Sunday afternoon in Union Square, as part of a joint effort to find their missing loved ones.
“We’re going to work together. We’re going to find them both,” said Heather Arabadjis.
Her father, 63-year-old Philip Arabadjis, walked out of his home in Astoria shoeless with only light outerwear, on February 12, and has not returned.
He has a medical history of schizophrenia and diabetes. Five days later, 20-year-old Brian Gewirtz disappeared after leaving his Marine Park home.
He too is diabetic. He also has autism, and according to his father, is high functioning.
Both Gewirtz and Arabadjis left without their cell phones, wallets and their medications.
“We’re learning a lot from each other, because there is no handbook on finding a missing person. Basically, we’re our own detectives,” said Heather Arabadjis in a crowd of volunteers.
On Saturday, Steven Gewirtz learned too late of a sighting of his son at a bakery in Dyker Heights. The person who apparently looked like Brian moved on quickly.
“The person came in requesting a piece of cake. They fit the description. But we only found out about it 16 hours later, and that’s what’s very frustrating,” said Steven Gewirtz.
The distraught dad is asking anyone who spots his son to please call 911 and to take a picture of him.
Volunteers on Sunday, carrying flyers of both missing men, checked out hospitals and shelters.
Heather Arabadjis said an anonymous company is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to finding her father.