Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Arkadiy Tashman – missing son/brother/uncle/nephew

Look at the picture. What do you see?
Is he amazing and incredibly gorgeous? At least, that’s what we think. If you knew him … oh..
People who know him are absolutely in love with his intelligence, sense of humor and his …. everything.

He is a great person, and I’m not saying it just because I’m his big sister. No, we all love him.
He’s been missing for more that 1½ years and it’s just a HUGE, PAINFUL wound that still consumes our lives.
Where should I begin…
January 26, 2005 – it was a freezing cold night. Arkadiy never came back from his friend’s house.
That started our never-ending search for him.
Flyers around the city… phone numbers… calls… flyers again… visits to all of the local police stations. I was kicking and screaming for them to use search dogs and helicopters. But, the police did not care. They labeled him an “endangered run away” and left it at that.

I put the word out to all possible news papers and TV channels: NY1, WB11, CBS, Daily News, Staten Island Advance, RTVI, NTV, Brooklyn Skyline, etc., just to spread the name “Arkadiy Tashman” around. For almost a month, our family was losing sleep. We were lucky to get just 4 hours a day. The only thing that this work yielded was more pain. People would call me with prank information (they probably thought we did not suffer enough with our loss). The calls I received were humiliating, painful and evil.
Let me give you an example of the nicest ones:
“You stupid Russian b***h. You deserved it and if I was you child, I would have killed myself.”
This is the only call I returned. I had grown tough skin by that time. (I’ll let you know how I replied in a later blog)
My poor parents. They lived from call to call. They stared at me, cried out for help, asking if I had heard something, anything.
Dad did not cry, but Mom fell apart. I could not tell who was more hurt by this ordeal. We had a full schedule of search missions. They became our life’s goal.
Flyers, flyers, flyers, hundreds of them. I spent my waking hours in my car and on the cell phone. We were pros at posting flyers. We knew where flyers would be seen, where they would stay and for how long, and we would repost them as quickly as they were torn down. I had my daily routes (about 5 of them) just in Midtown.
Posting flyers can be tricky in a cold weather. You cannot wear gloves and it’s difficult to make tape stick, but the worst was posting in the freezing rain. Stepping into melting snow, having your feet wet, was all worth it. We needed leads and did not know where to go.
We visited shelters, soup kitchens, some underground hideouts and police stations. I know them all by now.
Arkadiy… Arkadiy Tashman… Every time I post a flyer, I see your face. I don’t cry anymore (at least not when posting a flyer). Though, driving alone along the NJ Turnpike is still tough. I drove this route at least 3 times a day for the first 2 months after you disappeared.
“Come back, I MISS YOU SO MUCH” – is all I’m thinking. I still look into tall, young guy’s faces, trying to spot you when I walk on the street.
A month after Arkadiy disappeared, Mom wanted to leave this world. It was unbearable for me even to think that I could let her slip out, the same way I let you. That’s when a private investigator came into our lives, SCOTT BURNSTEIN. He brought a lot of hope to us (empty hope), that’s why I think the money he sucked out of us was worth it.
Of course, we did not agree with him when months later he robbed my credit card and maxed it out (almost $10,000). It took months and an attorney, to prove to the bank that HE RAN A SCAM ON US. To all people out there: DO NOT DEAL WITH HIM. He is a vulture, praying on people’s tragedy.
My parents and I moved into the same house now. They live in an apartment downstairs. That’s how I can hear my Mom’s crying, late at night and I, too, go to the bathroom and cry.
Dad is trying to be the Strong One, though he told me once (as we were searching a park in Staten Island with a volunteer, trying to find some traces of Arkadiy) – “I feel, if I find his body here, I’ll die instantly. I’ll never survive the loss”.
Do not be misled by my references to those people out there – whose life is so miserable that to make feel them better about themselves, they make you to suffer more that you are. There are lots of great human beings out there such as: Paul Thompson from Staten Island and some of his friends and a lot of other, who were selflessly distributing posters and digging information. Paul is a volunteer, helping to find Arkadiy and he is not giving up. Let’s not forget, there is still good in people and let’s not give freaks the opportunity to obscure that fact.
Miserable freaks, do not bother to call, but all of you GOOD people out there:
Please if you see Arkadiy Tashman, call 917-842-9875 (my cell).
He has blue eyes, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 170 pounds, light grey eyes, and ashy blond hair.
Last seen(at age 17) in Staten Island, NY on January 26th, 2005.


At 11:11 PM, Blogger Amber said...

I do not sleep much and I read all the time, that is how I found this site. Randomly. I have two boys of my own and I can't fathom the pain you are going through. Although I am several states away please know that I will be watching and looking also into boys faces walking by. Wow, I will be thinking of you and your family. All I can say is wow. . . .

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read your story about your brother, I am so sorry and I hope that through some sort of information that you will get him back or atleast some closure. my thoughts are with you and your family.
A sympathetic reader (New Zealand)

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my name is carolyn. I own the skateshop that ark hung out in. Your brother was the sweetest kid that hung out here. I wish there is something I could do to help. We have his picture hung up in case anyone has seen him. He is in our prayers, I hope he comes home. we all miss him too

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family. May your brother be found and brought home safely....

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and your family. I hope your brother is found and has a safe return....

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a volunteer that has been assisting the family of Arkadiy in trying to locate him. Myself and the other volunteers are committed to assisting Natalya and her family with their search for as long as it takes to find Arkadiy. Natalya has run into some pretty disturbing obstacles along the way but she has proven to all that the love she and her family share for Arkadiy is deserving of the answers that each of them so desires.

Sweet dreams & love to all,
Paul Thompson (Staten Island)

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you ever put his name into i just did and found a guy that looks remarkibly just like him but with shorter hair. he is claiming to be 26 but almost everyone on there lies. i would try this out and see if it is your brother.

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please know that I am praying for Arkadiy and for your family. I am so sorry to read of the struggles that your family has endured while you have searched for your brother. I cannot imagine the pain that you are experiencing and I truly pray that answers will come soon for you.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We express out deepest sympathy on your families loss. We have you in our Prayer's. The family also.
If you have his social security number, run the name, or number only, in the Social Security Death Index. Just in case he has been located. E-mail me at , if I can be of further assistance. We live in Arkansas. Sam and Carol Gipson Retired Detective, Benton Police Dept., Benton, Ark.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I also cannot comprehend the pain and anguish you all are going through. I think you are very strong not giving up and collapsing, not giving up hope and thinking life is over. I hope that your hard work pays off and he returns home to you safe and sound. (australia)

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I will not give up hope, I know that Arkadiy WILL be found. I will conitnue to pray and hope, please know that I will be thinking of you and your family during this very difficult time.

God Bless,

A worried reader (Canada)

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


If anyone knows how you feel it would be me. Yes, I have to agree with you that there are good and bad people out there, and I thank God for good people like Paul, and I ask God to take care of people like Bernstein.

Natalya, you and your family stay in my prayers. God knows you and your family don't deserve all this but for whatever reason God allows this to happen. But please don't lose faith or hope. My love and prayers will always be with you and your family.

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nataly, I just wanted you to know that I came across your site only by accident-and my hopes and prayers are with you and your family at this heart breaking time. No one can imagine the pain and suffering you are currently feeling, I don't think anyone would want to feel that way. I will pray for you, your family and Ark, and may he return to you safe and sound. Jo (UK)

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I hope you find your brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Don't let the evil mean people break you guys down b/c the world does have good people out there that will continue to help look and pray for you guys.

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never,never, never give up!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Nataly Vo said...

Thank you all for your comments.
Arkadiy has not been heard from yet, but we are praying and hoping that he is OK.
It's all we need, just to know that he is alive.
Thank you for keeping him in your thoughts that's the only place I know where he still exists.

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago, I will keep a special eye out for your brother, If there is anything i can do to help out please let me know. I cannot even imaging what you are going through I cannot even handle it when my son goes on vacation with my parents. I will keep you and your brother in my prayers. Remember...God hasn't forgotten about you or your brother.

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

live in Chicago, I will keep a special eye out for your brother, If there is anything i can do to help out please let me know. I cannot even imaging what you are going through I cannot even handle it when my son goes on vacation with my parents. I will keep you and your brother in my prayers. Remember...God hasn't forgotten about you or your brother.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed this for as long as it's been happening... it hurts! My heart goes with you

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to high school with your brother. I was in utter disbelief when I heard this news. You and your family are in my prayers that he is brought back to you safely.



At 8:45 PM, Blogger claire said...

I pray you find your brother my heart goes out to all of you. I have a son Ark's age and I can not imagine what you are going through. He seems to have been loved so much I hope you find him soon. Having a website with everyone praying is one of the best things that you can do The power of everyone praying and offering support is remarkable. I pray that God guides you to Ark. For as long as it takes you to find him he will always be in my prayers. My cousin Paul Thompson sent me this site and I sent it to another person the more people that pray the better.


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