A boater found Yohanes Stefanos Kidane’s remains northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge just after 11:40 a.m. on Aug. 29, according to a news release from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.
The Coast Guard recovered the remains, and paramedics pronounced Kidane dead soon after, according to police, who said his identity was initially unknown because the remains “exhibited signs of advanced decomposition, prolonged exposure to the aquatic environment and appreciable depredation.”
Authorities formally identified Kidane two days later, on Aug. 31, and notified his family members of his passing, according to the sheriff’s office. A forensic postmortem examination conducted Sept. 1 by the Coroner Division of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office determined that Kidane died by suicide.
Kidane lived in San Jose but was originally from Webster, New York, a town about 90 miles northeast of Buffalo, according to police, who added that he currently worked as a Netflix engineer.
Family members told NBC Bay Area that Kidane recently graduated from Cornell University and had moved to the Bay Area to start the new job at Netflix.
Kidane graduated from Cornell this year with a degree in computer science, according to Joel Malina, vice president for university relations.
“We are devastated by the tragic nature of his passing, and we encourage all who knew him on campus to seek help as they struggle with this loss,” Malina said in a statement provided to NBC News. “Our deepest condolences go to Yohanes’ family and friends.”
A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement: “We are saddened by the loss of a young and brilliant coworker. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Yohanes’ family and friends.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser that had been set up to support the search for Kidane said that he was last seen leaving his apartment Aug. 14 and entering a rideshare at 7:15 p.m., and that his belongings were found near the visitor center of the Golden Gate Bridge the next day.
The GoFundMe page also said that Kidane had “a strange encounter” with an Uber driver two days prior to when he was last seen, when the driver “was insistent on taking him through Oakland,” leading Kidane to cancel the ride and share his hesitancy in taking rideshares alone.
Roger Fielding, chief deputy for the coroner division of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, said the details included in the GoFundMe were “not deemed relevant to our death investigation” and that investigators did not find any “evidence of a criminal nature or suspicious circumstances” related to Kidane’s death.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.