(photo credit: Channel 10)
The frantic search for the Daweet family's youngest brother, Gavriel, ended Monday morning when reporters and police came to their Beersheba home with the news that his body had been found in Lebanon.
His oldest sister, Tovah, described the last time she saw her brother. "It was January 20, 2005 at 10 a.m.," she told The Jerusalem Post. He was 27 years old.
The family had gone to Haifa to sit shiva for their brother Nahum, who had killed himself. After the seven-day mourning period ended, Tovah and Gavriel sat in Nahum's apartment, drank coffee and talked.
"I said good-bye and he got up," she said. And that was it.
Until the police called the family's home on Sunday to ask for DNA samples, she and his other five siblings who immigrated from Ethiopia in the early 1980s had no inkling as to what happened to Gavriel.
"We went to the police all the time. We looked and looked for him. We feared he was dead. We didn't know. We didn't hear from him," said Tovah, her voice breaking.
They looked in Haifa and Tel Aviv, she said. Their best hope was that he was staying away from the family because contact was too painful in the aftermath of Nahum's death.
At the time of his disappearance, Gavriel was single and worked as a truck driver.
After two years of no answers, the police suddenly called Sunday, said Tovah. "They came and they took DNA samples. Then today they came back."
The police told the Daweets that Gavriel had drowned in the Haifa area and that the tide had carried his body to Lebanon.
But the explanation, she said, left her with many questions. "Why didn't they find him before he got to Lebanon. How is it that no one saw him?" she asked.
After two years of feeling alone in their search, the family found itself suddenly in the limelight as they gathered in their parents home Monday.
"The whole world came," Tovah said.