HAYWARD -- A 34-year-old missing Hayward man may have met with foul play after he was last seen in downtown Oakland 10 days ago, police said Wednesday, and his longtime girlfriend is offering a $10,000 reward for his safe return.
Nigel Jay was reported missing by his family on April 10, but he was last seen in downtown Oakland, a place he frequents, as late as 9 p.m. on April 7, police said.
Jay, who does not own a car, had rented a car the weekend he went missing to drive his sick father to medical appointments, said his longtime girlfriend Serena Rosinia, 34, of Richmond.
The car was found parked on Cary Avenue in East Oakland a few days after Jay was last seen, according to Hayward police Sgt. Mark Ormsby. Police said his cellphone and bank account have not been used since April 7.
Jay works as a chef at an Alameda restaurant and is also a paid cook at a homeless shelter in downtown Oakland, Rosinia said.
His disappearance "is extremely suspicious," she said. "Something is missing from this picture, and somebody knows what happened and they just aren't saying anything."
Rosinia is offering a $10,000 reward for Jay's safe return.
Rosinia has known Jay since 1995 and the two have been involved romantically since 1999, though they took a break from 2010 to 2012, she said. Recently, they had been working on their relationship, and three days before, he disappeared he gave her a diamond ring.
"He told me, 'Let's try to work things out, let's make things happen,'" she said, adding that she wanted to take a few days to think about possibly marrying Jay.
She said she had plans to meet Jay for lunch on that Sunday but she was late in returning a text message, and then his cellphone went straight to voice mail. She called four or five times every day until Wednesday, ¿when his older sister and other relatives in Hayward filed a missing-person report, Rosinia said.
Police said Jay is in good physical condition, and has no history of failing to contact his family or friends.
Anyone with information should call Hayward police at 510-293-7000.