Private investigator is now on the Rubin case

Ditmas Park asks: ‘Where is Josh Rubin’?
Rubin in 2011 before opening his Ditmas Park coffee shop.

A private investigator searching for a missing Ditmas Park cafe owner has expanded the search to hotels, homeless shelters and even to Zuccotti Park.

The investigator, hired by the family of Whisk Cafe owner Josh Rubin, who disappeared without a trace on Halloween night, said he has been so desperate to get the word out about the missing man that he even handed out fliers at the Occupy Wall Street encampment before its eviction last week.

“I’ve been to every hotel, shelter, halfway house, outreach program and any place in the city that I feel that he could have been,” said the investigator Eric Lopez, who was hired on Nov. 4 to assist police, whose three-week investigation has come up empty.

Breaking an extended media silence on Saturday, Rubin’s relatives gathered in front of the 70th Precinct stationhouse on Lawrence Avenue to not only announce the hiring of their private dick, but also to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to Rubin.

No officers joined the press conference, lending an air of frustration with the police effort.

“There has been no evidence or leads leading to Joshua,” said Rubin’s sister, Hilarie. “That’s why we’re here offering a reward.”

The family hopes that somebody caught a glimpse of Rubin as he walked out of his apartment at Lawrence Avenue and Seaton Place in Kensington — less than a block away from the stationhouse.

“We are hoping that someone has seen something, anything, that can help us find him,” Hilarie said.

Police have yet to disclose any significant details since Rubin went missing, although officers have said that they are investigating whether Rubin was bipolar.

Over the past few weeks, family and friends have mounted an impressive search for Rubin, hanging fliers all over the city, and checking shelters and hospitals.

New details have emerged in recent days about the period before Rubin disappeared.

Rubin was trying to sublet his room, according to Ditmas Park resident Zach Boyce, who says he met Rubin at Ocean Parkway and Lawrence Avenue before walking to Rubin’s apartment the day before he went missing.

Rubin also ordered bagels in advance of his scheduled shift Nov. 1 at Whisk — his last phone call, Hilarie said — before he left his apartment on foot and never returned.

Medical issues continue to be a concern in Rubin’s disappearance.

Rubin, who is Type 1 diabetic, left his nighttime insulin at his apartment, Hilarie said, but she did not know whether he had his daytime insulin with him.

Type 1 diabetics need doses of insulin to maintain their blood sugar, without it, they can quickly become disoriented and confused, with a risk of coma and organ failure.

Hilarie said that the only indication she had that her brother was alive was that he hadn’t been found in any of the city’s morgues.

“We are devastated that Josh is missing and frustrated that we have been unable to find him after almost three weeks of searching,” said Hilarie. “Please help us find Josh. We need him to come home.”

Anyone with information about Josh Rubin should call Detective Perry at the 70th Precinct, (718) 851-5560.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/from_where_isit.

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