A Portland man who is missing was believed to have been spotted on Friday in Rockport, police said. But on Saturday, family members said the man seen in the Knox County town is not Samuel Mugisha.

“That’s not him,” said family spokesperson Claude Rwaganje, an uncle of Mugisha.

Portland police received information from Rockport police that Mugisha, 21, was seen hitchhiking Friday, which would have been the first time Mugisha was seen in more than a week.

21-year-old Samuel Mugisha, has been missing for a week. Photo courtesy of Mugisha family

Mugisha was reportedly wearing jeans and a white T-shirt with a vest over it. Mugisha may have left the area after being picked up in a light-colored pickup truck, possibly headed north on Route 90, police said.

Portland Police Maj. Robert Martin said Saturday that family members do not believe the man in Rockport was Mugisha, based on a photograph they saw. Later Saturday, police showed family members a better photograph from a store’s surveillance camera, which confirmed their original opinion, Martin said.

“They are confident it is not him, ” Martin said in an email Saturday afternoon.


Mugisha was last seen at his Portland apartment at 8 a.m. on Nov. 4. His family, the Congolese immigrant community and Portland police have been searching for him since. Family members said they are trying to stay calm and hopeful that he will be fine.

Family members said Mugisha has from a mental illness that sometimes renders him nonverbal, and can cause him to forget where he is and faint. Family members have said his disappearance might be connected to his illness.

Mugisha came to the United States in 2014 from Nairobi, Kenya, and is part of the tight-knight Congolese Banyamulenge community in the Portland area. Mugisha works as a caregiver at Safe Residential Care and Granite Bay Care, and is always most either working or at church, and never has gone missing before, family members said.

Police are asking anyone who has seen Mugisha to call Portland police at 874-8479.

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