Ariel Espinal grew up in Petworth and has worked as a manager at Annie’s Hardware on Upshur Street Northwest for the past three years. He was last seen Saturday, Oct. 8 around 2 p.m. when he dropped a coworker off at home.
The family found his car parked on Blair Road Northwest late that night but haven’t seen or heard from him since. His fiancé Irma Flores said the past five days have been miserable.
“We haven’t been eating or sleeping,” she said sitting on the family’s front porch with her sister by her side for emotional support.
They’ve called police, area hospitals, and still no sign of the 26-year-old father, his 9-year-old son is beginning to ask questions.
“When he sees us praying and getting together he starts to get very emotional,” Flores said. “He sees something is wrong here and he just wants his dad to come home.”
Everything seemed to be going great for the couple. They were just about to close on a house and Ariel seemed happy.
“Ariel is so nice he’s a very nice person a very giving person with a big heart,” she said.
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“He’ll be OK,” a coworker said, with tears streaming down his face. “We’ll leave it in God’s hands.”
His coworkers at Annie’s Hardware stood in solidarity with a sign that read, ‘Come home Ariel. We miss you.’ The hardware store has posted flyers outside and all over the neighborhood.
Even Petworth Crossfit, where he used to workout, has a flyer posted.
Meanwhile Flores leans on her family for support and prays for the best.
“I’m very scared,” she said. “I try to stay positive and we’re asking someone who saw something or knows something to please open up your heart and let someone know.”
The family is offering a reward for any information. If you can help, please call D.C. Police.