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Friends are looking for a New Jersey man who went missing in New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It was supposed to be an overnight business trip … but more than a week later, Michael Gelfand’s family and friends are looking for him in New Orleans.

The 33-year-old texted his wife on January 6 that he would be flying home to Jackson, New Jersey that evening. But he never made it home.

The search began on January 11th. Nearly three dozen family friends arrived in New Orleans to look for Michael.

First they filled out a missing person report with the NOPD, then they set up a “command post” in a conference room at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street.

The group’s spokesman, Nathan Ginsbury, said the search team had identified possible sightings of Gelfand, starting with the Magnolia Hotel at 525 Gravier Street, where Gelfand checked out on Jan. 6.

33-year-old New Jersey businessman reported missing in New Orleans

From then on, the search has expanded. From the Highway 90 flyover to the west and Elysian Fields to the east. The team searches for Gelfand in the grid in cars, on bicycles and on foot.

They are also requesting surveillance videos of places people believe discovered Gelfand and companies that have used Gelfand’s credit card in the past few days. These companies include drug stores, grocery stores, and bars, which begs the question of whether or not Gelfand is really “missing”.

Ginsbury and the other seekers insist that Gelfand wants to be at home with his wife and children and with other members of the Orthodox Jewish community.

“As a nation, Orthodox Jews believe that we are all one,” says Ginsbury. “[Michael] may have a fight right now that he doesn’t understand (and we don’t understand). But he still wants to be part of this community. ”

The search team is offering a $ 10,000 reward for information leading them to Gelfand’s location, and tips can be left using the social media hashtag #BringMichaelHome or by calling the NOPD 8th Ward at (504) 658-6080.

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