Brandon Sawyer ’26, an agricultural sciences major from rural Ontario, died earlier this month.

September 6, 2023

Missing Recent Graduate Yohanes Kidane ’23 Found Dead in San Francisco Bay

Print More

Last seen on Aug. 14, Yohanes Kidane ’23 was found dead in the San Francisco Bay northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge, according to a press release from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

A body was found in the Bay on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and paramedics subsequently pronounced the subject as dead. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division staff verified that the person was Kidane on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Kidane’s death was determined to be by suicide after a Friday, Sept. 1 forensic postmortem examination, with the death occurring primarily due to blunt impact injuries with drowning as a considerable contributing condition.

Kidane went missing on Aug. 14 after traveling by a rideshare service from San Jose, California to San Francisco. Kidane had just begun his career as a software engineer for Netflix on Monday, Aug. 7.

A recent graduate from Cornell with a degree in computer science from the College of Engineering, Kidane was a teacher’s assistant for discrete math and analysis of algorithms classes, was a research assistant in the Virtual Embodiment Lab and completed a graduate-level course in distributed computing. Kidane was originally from Rochester, New York.

Kidane’s friend Lucas Achkarian ’23 told The Sun on Aug. 18 that Kidane was a caring and trustworthy person who was always looking to help others.

“Anytime I had any sort of issue, I could come to him,” Achkarian said. “He’s what every person should honestly strive to be.”

Students in need of professional mental health support can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 607-255-5155 and employees can call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673. Whenever these services are closed, calls are answered by Cornell Health’s on-call mental health provider. The Ithaca-based Crisisline is also available at 607-272-1616 and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available through the U.S. A wide range of supportive resources is also available at