SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Four years have passed and the family of Justin Hooiman is becoming desperate and hopeful.
In an attempt to learn what happened to Hooiman, his family turned to the media to spread the word about his disappearance. In June, his mother broke her silence during a segment of Missing in Utah on ABC4.
On the day after Hooiman’s birthday, the entire family made an appearance before the media. Each person donned t-shirts with his picture and name on them.
“We are here because my son Justin Hooiman has been missing since November 2017,” said Stevenson.
On that day in 2017, Hooiman made a phone call to his mother. He was staying at the Fortitude halfway house in Salt Lake City and headed out for his day job.
“The last day that he left he called me for lunch and he didn’t show up,” his mother said. “We know something was wrong.”
Stevenson said Hooiman became addicted to opioids after several surgeries and from that point on she said his life began spiraling out of control.
He spent a few months in prison after violating parole on a theft charge.
In November 2017, he ended up at the halfway house.
“We know he made mistakes due to that but he was loved by many we just want to bring him home please help us,” said an emotional Stevenson.
His family now believes his disappearance stemmed from his associations while in prison.
“Please if anyone knows any information (while) in prison or Fortitude in 2017,” she said.
His family no longer believes he’s missing, but dead.
“At this point, we just want to bring him home and finally put him to rest,” said his sister Misty Beaver.
In a press release, Salt Lake police said his disappearance was “suspicious” and have its homicide division investigating Hooiman’s disappearance.
“Whether it was an accident or if he died by an overdose, somebody knows this,” said Jason Jensen with the Utah Cold Case Coalition. “They can call in, be anonymous. There’s a reward being offered for information. The family just wants that kind of closure in laying him to rest.”
Over the past 4 years, his family and friends say they have worked tirelessly in search of answers. And with each passing year, there’s been no sign or information of his whereabouts.
“While things happen and he made mistakes, he was the most kindest human being ever,” said his sister. “And this could have been anybody’s brother. Unfortunately, he was just mine.”