New evidence has reinvigorated the San Diego Police Department's search for a Polish tourist who was reported missing while on a visit to La Jolla nearly two weeks ago.
Michal Marcin Krowczynski, 30, was on vacation in the United States from Poland earlier this month. On Jan. 18, police declared him a missing person in San Diego County after a week of having no contact at all with his family back home. He was last seen in San Diego's La Jolla area.
On Wednesday, SDPD reported investigators had recently recovered evidence on the beach near Calumet Park in La Jolla that is believed to belong to Krowczynski.
The beach is just a few blocks away from the La Jolla Biltmore Motel on La Jolla Boulevard where Krowczynski had been staying when he disappeared.
Police didn’t specify what those items found on the beach were, but NBC 7 spoke with the man who found the evidence, Bogdan Cichocki, by phone Wednesday.
Cichocki said the items were a brown shoe matching the description of a pair of shoes recently purchased by Krowczynski and a deodorant stick with Polish writing on it. Cichocki turned the evidence over to police.
According to Krowczynski's brother, Lucasz Krowczynski, the tourist's vacation plans involved visiting a friend in Phoenix, Arizona, and then traveling to San Diego. Krowczynski was supposed to catch a flight back to Phoenix the night of Jan. 17 and then head home to Poland a couple of days later. He missed both of those flights.
Lucasz Krowczynski said his brother is a high school math teacher in Poland and would never miss school.
While in San Diego, Krowczynski had dinner with friends.
Krowczynski’s friend, Katarzyna Kijana-Palck, said he was in a great mood the night before he went missing.
She told NBC 7 she retraced Krowczynski’s steps and found out he checked out of the La Jolla Biltmore Motel at 11 a.m. on Jan. 17. Kijana-Palck said Krowczynski asked motel employees to hold his luggage until he could pick it up around 4 p.m., but he never returned to claim his bags.
According to police, Krowczynski’s social media accounts showed several posts made throughout San Diego before he vanished.
Locals Kara Bergerson and Zachary Vernon heard about this story on the news and spent the morning scouring La Jolla for anything that could help in the search for Krowczynski.
“If my family member were missing, I’d pray someone would come out and search for him or her, especially having family overseas,” Bergerson told NBC 7. “I can only imagine how helpless that feels. It’s just heartbreaking. I pray he can come home safely.”
Vernon said they were looking for a backpack, other items of clothing or maybe the other shoe belonging to Krowczynski.
“[We’re] just doing zig-zags on the beach and seeing if we can spot anything out of the ordinary,” he said. “Hoping to find some sign, something to give some clarification on what happened or where he may be.”
Krowczynski is described as 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, with short, brown hair and green eyes. In two photos released by police Krowczynski is wearing braces.
Thursday will mark two weeks since he vanished.
Anyone with information on Krowczynski’s whereabouts can reach out to the SDPD at (619) 531-2000 or the SDPD’s Missing Persons Unit at (619) 531-2277.