JAMAICA, Queens (PIX11) — When Bien Nguyen finally arrived at Jamaica Hospital in Queens early Friday afternoon, she was carrying a bag of clothing for her oldest son, Jossiah.
The photo she had seen of the 25-year-old, taken on July 5, showed him on a subway bench with tattered jeans. He appeared homeless. The picture devastated her.
“It was pretty hard not to start crying,” she said, when asked about the photo.
But the picture started a movement to find Jossiah, building up to a TV story on PIX11 News on Tuesday.
“If that’s what it took just for others to look for him, and help him out, then I’m thankful for that,” the emotional mother told PIX11’s Mary Murphy. She arrived at Newark Airport Friday morning, after getting a direct flight from Savannah, Georgia.
She tearfully recalled getting the call Thursday evening that Jossiah had been found by MTA police at the Long Island Railroad station in Jamaica, Queens.
“To get the call he was found,” Nguyuen said, “I was able to hear his voice and let him know we love him.”
The mother said she dropped everything to find a flight to New York, but the quickest direct flight actually took her to Newark, New Jersey.
PIX11 News met Bien Nguyen at the airport and traveled with her to Jamaica Hospital, where her son was undergoing a medical evaluation.
“He said, ‘Mom, can you help me get some airplane tickets to head back home?'” Nguyen recalled of Thursday night’s phone call, after her son was taken to the MTA police station.
Bien Nguyen and her husband, Yen, started a Facebook page this week called Missing Jossiah Nguyen, which received multiple tips on possible sightings of their son. They had told PIX11 News on Zoom Sunday night that Jossiah suffered emotional problems after high school.
The parents also told us their son was very talented in dance, music and sports, sending us a video of Jossiah breakdancing at a show before he graduated school. The parents said they’d received one Facebook Messenger communication from their son on May 13, five days after he disappeared.
He was looking for a way to get home, telling his parents he had lost his wallet and phone.
But they didn’t hear from him again.
On June 24, the parents flew to New York City in advance of Missing Persons Day, June 25, at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. They talked to detectives that Saturday, who told the Nguyens their son had received a summons the same day outside a liquor store on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.
When Jossiah’s parents made their way to Nostrand Avenue, he was nowhere to be found.
They also checked a park in Lower Manhattan, where his phone had “pinged” early in his disappearance.
On July 5, a cousin of Yen Nguyen happened to be getting off the elevated subway at the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when she noticed someone who looked like Jossiah. He said he didn’t want help.
The cousin, Kim Crown, took the young man’s photo and sent it to his parents.
PIX11 News saw a flyer about Jossiah’s disappearance on the Facebook page “Missing People of NYC” and decided to look into the case.
Two days after we reported about Jossiah Nguyen’s disappearance, the MTA police discovered him near the Long Island Railroad station at Sutphin Boulevard in Queens.
“He’s my oldest,” Bien Nguyen said through tears, “so knowing that he was found, and that he was okay, I’m just so thankful.”