November 21, 2018

Missing Israeli found in North Hollywood

Syril Zimand, a 28-year-old Israeli thought to be missing by his father, turned up in North Hollywood on Jan. 20,  approximately 25 days after the father, Henri Zimand, a philanthropist and entrepreneur who lives in Israel and Monaco, told the Jewish Journal and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) that he had lost track of his son’s whereabouts and was concerned for his safety.  Henri Zimand did not file an official police report with the LAPD.

The search for Syril concluded on Sunday, Jan 20, after an acquaintance spotted him in a North Hollywood restaurant, according to Henri Zimand.

The acquaintance, Henri Ziman wrote in an email, “decided to go and eat a hamburger with his wife; as they ate suddenly he says to his wife…‘Is this not Syril at the other end of the restaurant?’”

The man approached Syril, Henri wrote, and told him “The whole world is looking for you.” The man then helped Syril to call his father and a cousin who is in L.A.

Henri said the acquaintance had learned that Syril was missing from the Jewish Journal.

Syril lives in Herzliya and has served in the Israeli army; he came to Los Angeles in early November to write and sell screenplays and checked into USA Hostels in Hollywood on Nov. 10. He stayed at the hostel until Nov. 24, the maximum amount of days allowed. Sometime after leaving the hotel, he called Henri to say that he was fine, but he did not inform his father of his whereabouts. That was the last time the two made contact until Jan. 20.

Henri wrote in a Jan. 18 Facebook post that Syril had been missing for more than 40 days.

Henri wrote to the LAPD on Dec. 27 to ask for help, but never filed an official missing-persons report with the Los Angeles police.

Asher Ben Artzi, former chief superintendant of the Israeli National Police, assisted with the search, and Henri also contacted the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles about his missing son. In addition, Henri used Facebook to spread the word, and Syril’s cousin, Ronit Machlouf, posted missing-person flyers around Los Angeles.

On his trip to Los Angeles, Syril was traveling with two passports, one Israeli and the other from Belgium; he had a six-month visa attached to his Belgium passport, along with $1,500. By late-December, a cell phone he had been using during the first couple of weeks of his stay was no longer in service. Making the search more difficult for Henri, Syril was traveling without a credit card.