At Yonge & Incurious:
Toronto police are again turning to the public for information about a missing teen after her backpack was found on Thursday outside a building near Eglinton Ave. E. and Yonge St.
"This is the first tangible item we've discovered," said Det. Sgt. Dan Nealon about the schoolbag belonging to Mariam Makhniashvili, who vanished on Sept. 14 while walking to school.
After questioning people in the area, police learned that Al Nezhadi, a resident living on the ground floor of an apartment building on Roehampton first spotted the bag on the lawn about two weeks ago.
But he didn't think much of it. After all, he says, students who attend the high school often cross the street to smoke, chat and hang out, routinely leaving things behind on the grass next to the building, such as baseball bats and shoes.
Not wanting the bag to get wet, Nezhadi moved it on to his balcony, in plain sight, hoping that its owner would claim it. But then it got muddy, so he moved it again after some days.
"I moved it around a few times, thinking someone would take it," said Nezhadi, adding he had not heard of Mariam's disappearance.
Nezhadi said he and his wife opened the bag and noticed it contained books and food, presumably Mariam's lunch. But they did not leaf through the books in search of a name.
Residents out walking their dog, also noticed the knapsack, but they assumed it belonged to Nezhadi's daughter, so no one took a closer look.
"I was moving it around and hoping somebody would pick it up," said Nezhadi. "And then three or four days ago I didn't see it."
That's when somebody moved the bag, about 20 metres, from Nezhadi's balcony back onto the grass, beneath a tree.