Details of Disappearance Bandabaila was last seen en route to a soccer tournament in Oakland, California on May 3, 2019. He was traveling in a silver two-door 1998 Honda Accord with the California license plate number 7XBG925; a photo of it is posted with this case summary.
At 1:30 a.m. on May 4, multiple witnesses called police to report there was a car parked midspan in the westbound slow lane of the San Mateo Bridge; at least two witnesses said they saw a person sitting or standing on the guardrail overlooking the San Francisco Bay. California Highway Patrol units arrived within twenty minutes, but there was no one in or around the car. Bandabaila has never been heard from again.
The police didn't search the Honda when they found it on the bridge; instead they had it towed to a private lot. It wasn't until May 9, two days after Bandabaila's family reported him missing, that authorities realized the abandoned vehicle was Bandabaila's. Investigators then searched it and found Bandabaila's duffel bags and passport. He had only recently purchased the car and hadn't yet had it registered, but in the glove compartment were ownership documents in his name. It wasn't until later in May that a forensic search of the vehicle was conducted.
Authorities told the tow lot owner that Bandabaila's family did not want the Honda back; in fact, they did want it back and were trying to raise the money to pay the fees. By the time the family contacted the tow lot owner, however, he had already sold the car.
Police believed Bandabaila had jumped off the bridge in a suicide, as theory his family disagreed with; they said he was in good physical and mental condition at the time of his disappearance and wasn't suicidal. A search of the water under the bridge turned up nothing. Since Bandabaila's disappearance, he hasn't used his cellular phone or accessed his bank account.
The circumstances of his disappearance are unclear and his case remains unsolved.
- Oakland Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 6, 2020; casefile added.