Missing Netflix Engineer’s Body Found in San Francisco Bay

Missing Netflix Employee Yohanes Kidane (Credit: GoFundMe)

The body of a young Netflix engineer, who disappeared two weeks after moving to California from Upstate New York, has been positively identified, authorities said Wednesday.

A passing boater spotted the remains of  Yohanes Kidane, 22, floating in the waters of the San Francisco Bay northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge on Tuesday, Aug. 29, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

The U.S. Coast Guard recovered the decomposing body.

“The remains exhibited signs of advanced decomposition, prolonged exposure to the aquatic environment and appreciable depredation,” the sheriff’s office said. There was no identification with the remains.

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The coroner used scientific evidence to positively identify the body, and Kidane’s family was notified.

An autopsy was completed on Sept. 1. The cause of death was a combination of blunt impact injuries and drowning.

“The mode of death was determined to be suicide,” the sheriff’s office said.

Kidane was from Webster, New York, and graduated from Cornell University in May 2023.

He moved to the Bay Area in late July to start a job as a software engineer at Netflix.

Kidane was last seen alive on the night of Aug. 14, when a security camera recorded him leaving his apartment in downtown San Jose and getting into an Uber.

His phone’s GPS tracker showed he arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge that night. The next morning, a commuter found Kidane’s wallet and cell phone near the bridge’s welcome center and notified police.

Police officers quickly located his backpack, wallet, ID cards and phone.

The California Highway Patrol, Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, and the U.S. Coast Guard joined in the search.

The San Jose Police Department said in a statement at the time that the investigation had “uncovered no evidence to suggest that a crime has occurred.”

Kidane’s family and friends traveled to the Bay Area to search for answers. They started a GoFundMe page that raised more than $107,000 in donations to cover travel expenses, private investigators, and other resources for the search, the page said.

“I’m heartbroken,” Kidane’s distraught mother Mehret Hana Beyene said in an interview with local news station KTVU-TV after he went missing.

The engineer’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea. Their children were born and raised in the Rochester area.

“We want to take him home. I need my son. I need my son,” his mother told the TV station. “He’s a good man who has a bright future, very loving to his family.”

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).