LOS ANGELES – The family of Emilio Ghanem is desperate for answers.

Ghanem, 40, vanished without a trace in May 2023 while on a trip to the Inland Empire, and, as the months tick by with still no sign of him, family members have begun to fear the worst.

“My biggest fear is that he’s dead right? I mean who just disappears out of thin air?,” his sister, Jenny, told KTLA.

His sisters say Emilio spent the last two decades in Southern California as a devout member of a church, His Way Spirit Led Assemblies, whose members worked at a pest control company, Fullshield Incorporated.

Emilio Ghanem
Emilio Ghanem (Family photo)

This past April, Emilio left both the ministry and Fullshield behind and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to reunite with family and begin a new chapter.

“He was really happy. He was ready to start his new life… turn over a new leaf,” says Jenny.

But that fresh start never happened.

On a return visit to the Inland Empire, Emilio stayed at a local Airbnb in Moreno Valley. He visited a Starbucks in Redlands on May 25th. Then, he was gone.

“All of his stuff was found at the Airbnb. He never made it back there,” another sister, who didn’t want her name revealed, told KTLA.

Police say the white Nissan Frontier Emilio had rented was spotted by a license plate reader in Colton, California the next day … and then never again.

So, what was Emilio doing back in Southern California before he vanished? The family says he returned to start a satellite office for his new pest control business based in Nashville.

“He told us he was going to go out … to recapture some of his clients,” Jenny says.

This approach drew the attention of Fullshield which served him with a letter dated May 8, accusing him of competing with the company for business.

Emilio Ghanem
Emilio Ghanem was last seen in May 2023 in Southern California’s Inland Empire. (Family photo)

The company’s attorney demanded Emilio “cease and desist from … disparaging derogatory and defamatory actions which are interfering with my client’s contractual and financial relationships.”

“This matter is serious and of the utmost importance and you should take notice before engaging in any of the described behavior or activity,” the letter read.

It was dated two weeks before he went missing.

Officially, police Emilio’s disappearance is an ongoing missing persons case.

KTLA visited a Menifee home where Emilio’s sisters and a former church member said they believe many church members and Fullshield employees currently live. No one answered. There was also no answer at another home in Hemet.

“To my knowledge, people in this group have been notified about Emlio’s disappearance. They were his closest friends for the last 23 years and nobody had come forward to help us,” his other sister told us.

KTLA also tried contacting the church on Oct. 4 but has also received no response.

Emilio’s sisters tell us that they have their suspicions about what happened to their beloved brother, but no firm answers. 

“Emilio is a very good person, and he doesn’t deserve this,” his sister said. “Anybody with information please come forward and please help us find him.”

Those with tips are urged to contact Redlands Police Det. Kyle Hanna at 909-798-7580.

KTLA 5 Reporter Mary Beth McDade: marybeth.mcdade@ktla.com. Twitter/X: @mcdade_mb