NASSAU, BAHAMAS — More than three years after Brazilian national Maykom Eder went missing during an ambitious trip from Freeport, Grand Bahama, to the United States, his brother, Weslei Alves, is pleading for any assistance that will bring the family closure.
After several failed attempts to obtain a United States visa, Eder, 26, left his home of Goiania, where he was a self-defense trainer at a local gym, in March 2017.
He traveled alone to Panama, onto the Dominican Republic and Freeport.
According to Alves, his brother called on August 3, 2017, to advise them of the last leg of his journey — an alleged boat from Freeport to the US where he would illegally enter the country.
However, the family never heard from him again.
“Michael sent his last message on August 3,” said Alves, with the assistance of a translator.
“He said he was taking the boat and make the crossing — from Freeport to the United States.
“[It] probably was a boat. We don’t know specifically.”
“But he said he needed to turn off his smartphone to make the crossing and he did not send another message.”
Alves said his family contacted Brazilian, Bahamian and US authorities over the years in hopes of learning that his brother might be being held in a facility or detention center, but they have been unsuccessful.
“We have searched via the consulates in Brazil, The Bahamas and the United States,” he said.
“We have been searching for him. We told them the history, that he tried to get in the US illegally, and they both told us there is no Maykom in any prison in The Bahamas or the United States.”
Asked if the family fears the worst, Alves said: “The whole family hopes he is under arrest in some prison, but they know it can be happen something bad, too.”
Asked why Eder sought to travel illegally to the United States, Alves said: “He was trying to get his life better. He wanted the American dream.
“He tried to get the visa under his passport to get into the US. He could not get there.
“After that, he tried to get there illegally.”
He continued: “The whole family has hope, but year after year, their hope becomes shorter and his mum is getting sick because this happened, and year after year there are no answers about him.”
Alves said the family wishes to search for him in the countries he traveled to, but does not have the money to do so.
He described his brother as “very calm” and said he had a lot of friends, made friends very easily and was “very well-loved”.