Though Hong Kong police have not confirmed whether a body discovered last Wednesday is that of 25-year-old Joseph Basha of St. John’s, his sister Cindy Basha has left little doubt as to his ultimate fate.
“I regret to say that my brother, my beautiful, talented, sweet brother was found dead,” she wrote in a post made to Facebook early Tuesday morning.
That same morning, The Canadian Press reported that Hong Kong police were investigating whether a body discovered last week was that of Basha, who had disappeared Dec. 21.
In her post on Facebook, Cindy Basha thanked those who had passed along well wishes over the course of her family’s ordeal.
“My brother was so loved and had such a significant impact on all of those who knew him. This was a such a tremendous loss for us all,” she wrote.
In an interview with The Telegram on Monday, Joseph’s mother Phyllis Basha said she was told by his roommate Dino Lee that he had left their home at 3 a.m. to buy some food.
A police spokesman told The Canadian Press the body of a foreigner aged 25 to 30 had been found later that day. The spokesman said the body was found “collapsed in a public toilet.”
The body had no identifying documents and a preliminary investigation suggested the death was not suspicious, according to the spokesman.
Joseph’s older sister Jackie was already in the country distributing his photo at local hospitals, according to the mother.
The police spokesman said the family had been asked to identify the body.
Joseph moved to Hong Kong in 2008 to teach English as a second language. He most recently attended school at the University of Hong Kong, where he was taking graduate courses in international and public affairs.
He was also a musician. His most recent group, Milkteeth, had been performing shows in the city for over a year.