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Remains found at Mesa canal pump station identified as missing Arizona man Najib 'Jubi' Monsif a week shy of his 21st birthday

The 20-year-old vanished from his Scottsdale, Arizona home on September 23, 2021.

Human remains discovered last week at a canal pump station in Mesa, Arizona, have been identified as Najib ‘Jubi’ Monsif, a man with autism who vanished from his Scottsdale, Arizona home in September. Scottsdale Police made the announcement Tuesday, just a week shy of Jubi’s 21st birthday.

“Jubi’s birthday is the 22nd of December,” Jubi’s father Najib Monsif Sr. wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “This day was always the happiest day of the year for the Monsif family for the past 20 years. Yesterday Scottsdale police informed us that Jubi’s remains were found in the canal. Our angel was only 20 years old. Thank you for your love.”

At a press conference held on Tuesday, Scottsdale Police said the remains were found a week earlier, on December 7, by an employee at the pump station near Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway and Power Road. This week, the Scottsdale Police Department Crime Lab confirmed that the badly decomposed remains belonged to 20-year-old Jubi.

“We are heartbroken at the development of this case,” Scottsdale Police Office Aaron Bolin said Tuesday. “It is not the outcome anyone in our community was hoping for. We all hoped Jubi would be found alive and in good health and be able to be reunited with family and friends.”

Scottsdale Police say an official autopsy is pending, but say there are no apparent signs of foul play.

Jubi was last seen in the early morning hours of September 23 at his father’s house in Scottsdale when he briefly came down from his room, his family told Dateline in October. When they discovered Jubi was gone later that day, they reported him missing. He did not take anything with him, including his ID and cell phone, which they said was unusual.

Jubi’s sister told Dateline that he was verbal and communicated with his family, but preferred to stay at home. She said the family had been worried that he might have been lured out of the house.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Scottsdale Police Detective John Heinzelman said the area where Jubi’s remains were found is an extension of the canal that runs behind his home. The length of the extension is about 11 miles, he added. Heinzelman said one possible theory is that Jubi made his way through a gap between two fenced gates and to the canal.

The night before Jubi disappeared, police said he made statements to several family members saying, “I'll be missing you,” but didn't elaborate or give details about what he meant. Heinzelman said police have searched all of Jubi’s electronics, including his cell phone, gaming systems and computer, but did not find any suspicious activity or messages with further insight.

For nearly three months, family, friends, the community, and law enforcement have knocked on doors, searched houses, scoured the neighborhood and combed the surrounding vast desert and wilderness, hoping for any sign of Jubi. Updates were posted regularly to the Facebook page “Finding Najib (Jubi) Monsif”.

“The Scottsdale Police Department partnered with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, and Central Arizona Project to conduct several searches within the first days and weeks of his disappearance,” police said in a tweet Tuesday. “Searches utilized tracking dogs, air units, bicycle units, mounted patrol units, patrol officers, and detectives on foot to look for Jubi in the neighborhood, desert areas, and the canal near his home.”

Their search finally came to an end this week.

“I braced myself for the day I would have to say this, and that time has come,” Jubi’s sister, Josie, posted in the Facebook group on Tuesday, explaining that Jubi’s body had been found. “Thank you for standing with us on this journey. It will not be over any time soon. Bless your hearts.”