Family of missing Winnipeg man worried for his safety

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Family of missing Winnipeg man worried for his safety

The family of a missing Winnipeg man has been putting up posters and searching different areas of the city, hoping to find anything that will lead them to the 33-year-old father of eight.

Jason Desmarais was last seen in the afternoon of April 9 in the area of Toronto Street and Sargent Avenue in the city's West End.

"He just split up with his girlfriend and he was quite upset," said his older sister, Nancy Desmarais.

"Then he left walking from her house and nobody's heard [from him] or seen him since," she said.

Desmarais was wearing a black long sleeved sweater, a black Nike shirt, with jeans and black Nike running shoes. He also had a plain white bicycle with him, said Nancy, with no gears or brakes on the handle bars.

He is five foot 11 and weighs approximately 240 pounds, with long black hair down to his waist, often in a braid or ponytail. He also has a goatee.

The family said Desmarais is very quiet and a homebody. He doesn't drink or party and is usually at home with his kids. He has been waiting for his job as a landscaper to start up again.

"This is the longest it's been. So, I'm quite concerned for him, his well-being, his safety," said Nancy.

The family said this is completely out of character for Desmarais, who has never gone missing before. Nancy said his kids, which range in age from three to 14, are confused and worried.

"The older one's are upset, crying. They miss their dad, they're worried, they're scared," said Nancy.

"Jason, if you're out there, please call one of us. We're really worried and concerned for you, we all love you and miss you," said Nancy.

"My biggest worry is not finding my brother, and I just want him to come home," she said.

Desmarais has lived in Winnipeg his whole life but has family in the Camperville area. His sister plans to contact the RCMP this week in hopes of expanding the search outside Winnipeg.

Desmarais doesn't have a cell phone or use social media often. He also doesn't have a bank account so the family has no way of tracking where he might have been.

"We have lots of family putting posters all around the city, we've looked, searching around the river banks," said Nancy.

Nancy said he wasn't reported missing until April 24, because his family didn't know he had broken up with his common-law girlfriend.

Once they realized nobody had heard from him they began searching anywhere he might be and contacted friends and family.

"I had to call all the jails and hospitals first before I was able to make a missing person's report, is what I was told," said Nancy.

"I checked all the places I could check and I couldn't find him," she said.

Family wants help searching

The Bear Clan is also helping in the search for Desmarais. Volunteers were out on Friday putting up posters along Ellice Avenue and Sargent Avenue.

Nancy said she is grateful for their help because she lives several hours away and has been travelling back and forth to the city from her community of Pine Creek First Nation.

"I would really like for help searching for my brother. For people to keep sharing on social media, spreading his picture around and keeping their eyes open for anything."

The family has started a Facebook group called Help Us Bring Jason Home. They hope to organize volunteers and get more posters out.

The Winnipeg Police Services said they have received a number of tips from the public about Desmarais and detectives are following up on them.

They say the investigation is ongoing and would like anyone with any information to contact the Missing Persons Unit at 204-986-6250.