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Eli Rabago

Family: More sightings of missing teen at 1st/Ft. Lowell

Developmentally disabled Phoenix man missing since Sunday morning

A developmentally disabled 19-year-old man who was reported missing while visiting family in Tucson was spotted at the Food City at First Avenue and Fort Lowell, his family said Tuesday.

Eli Solomon Rabago, of Phoenix, was visiting his grandparents' home near Skyline and Sunrise drives when he went missing Sunday morning. He was last seen around 7 a.m., the Pima County Sheriff's Department said.

An update on the family's support page on Facebook said:

We have another confirmation that Eli was indeed seen at the Food City at 1st Avenue and Ft. Lowell yesterday!! ... We are asking people to look in the above mentioned area, the 1st Avenue corridor going north, and the parks in that geographic area.

Eli's aunt and a family friend spoke with people at Navajo Park near First and Fort Lowell on Tuesday who confirmed seeing the missing man at the grocery store, said Ruben Rabago, Eli's father.

Rabago, who requires medication, was reportedly seen in the area of the park around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Ruben Rabago said Monday.

Family and friends have been canvassing the area and have heard reports of  Eli being at the grocery store, Ruben Rabago said Tuesday afternoon.

As to where Eli might find a place to sleep, his family asked Tuesday evening in a Facebook post that people try to think like he might in finding shelter:

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Laura Horton-Charles, Charles Weesner, and Donna Mabry and contribute today!

It is cold, but there are covered area in parks. Parking garages, all night laundermats, empty houses, etc... The truth is when you have a special needs person in your life, it is not about them coming to your level of understanding, but you going into their world and meet them where they are. So, I challenge to think like a scared 11 year old little boy in a 19 year old body. What would you do? Where would you go in this city?

A man at Navajo Park reported seeing a young man fitting Eli Rabago's description at the Food City on Monday, said Vince Rabago, a cousin.

Another person reported seeing Eli near Speedway Boulevard and Swan Road around 3 p.m. on Sunday, Vince Rabago said.

Eli Rabago's grandparents recently moved to 3800 block of East Marshall Gulch Place, and the young man is not familiar with the area, or with Tucson, Ruben Rabago said.

Ruben Rabago said Eli had wandered off before in Phoenix, but not in this manner.

"He's taken off, but not in this situation. He's never done this in Tucson and he's unfamiliar with that part of town," Ruben Rabago said.

Ruben Rabago also said that although his son has the intellectual ability of an 11-year-old, his judgment is impaired and he needs medication.

"He's a sweet spirit and definitely scared," he said.

Eli Rabago is afraid of the desert and desert animals, so likely will stick to city streets, his father and cousin said.

Eli also can get frightened by strangers and his father asks that if anyone sees him to report it to the police right away and keep an eye on him, but to avoid approaching him or he may flee.

"He's good at appearing normal, but he has autistic tendencies," his father said.

His family has set up a support page on Facebook with updates about Eli.

Eli Rabago is Hispanic, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighs 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue sweat pants, a red shirt, a gray hoodie, and gray New Balance tennis shoes with pink shoelaces. He may be carrying a red bag with personal items.

Anyone with information about him should call 911.

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Courtesy Rabago family

Eli Rabago