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DIGGING DEEPER: Man goes to extreme measures to find missing nephew who was last seen in Tucson

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Every year, 600,000 Americans go missing, according to NAMUS, a government organization where people can register missing people.

The Digging Deeper team is focusing on the search for a man's nephew and the extreme measures the uncle is going through to locate him.

Mark Aaronson made a promise to his father on his deathbed to take care of the family after he was gone.

He is doing all he can to make good on that promised to include finding his nephew who's been missing since 2013.

Fighting back tears, Aaronson said, "I love him, he's been gone too long."

Braheem Aaronson, who sometimes goes by Bryan, was 32 years old when anyone heard from him. His uncle is hoping a billboard will help him and Braheem's four siblings find him.

"I've been looking for him for 8 years," Mark said.

He has had two billboards erected - one in Tucson and the other one in Tumacacori.

Bill Hussey represents Clear Channel Outdoor .

"It's heartwrenching to understand the loss he's expressing," Hussey said. "He's lost a family member and he's trying to find him."

Mark said Tucson is the last place where the family heard from Brahaeem. He said his nephew was going to meet his brothers for the gem show.

Mark said before his disappearance, he sent a text/email, "Telling them he was going to California and would be back in two weeks." That was in 2013.

The uncle has hired private detectives, contacted the police department and the FBI. He has even contacted a psychic.

"They said he was homeless in Tucson," he said.

In response, he and his wife went to a homeless camp, talked to people and showed his picture. No one knew him.

A few years ago, a private detective showed him a video of his nephew at a pawn shop.

"He was smiling and talking," he said. "And at least I knew he was alive."

However, the private investigator did not give him the name of the pawn shop. Another private investigator showed him records that his nephew was at Tucson City Court where he paid a speeding ticket last fall.

He also told him Braheem was working construction along the border. That was why the second billboard was placed in Tumacacori along Interstate-19.

Hussey says billboards have helped find people.

"Every person that sees this and our conversations with our friends, we're going to get closer to finding him," he said.

A website has also been set up to include heartfelt letters from his siblings and other family members all of them saying, "Come home."

Mark said he will not rest until he keeps his promise to his father.

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Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

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