Eric Batzdorff was found Aug. 18 after an apparent suicide.
Eric Batzdorff was found Aug. 18 after an apparent suicide.

Missing Jewish Alameda man found dead in East Oakland

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Missing Jewish Alameda resident Eric Batzdorff, 42, was found dead inside his vehicle on Sunday, the Oakland Police Department has confirmed.

The death appears to be a suicide, Oakland PD officer Johnna Watson said.

“As many of you know by now, my beautiful brother is gone. He was an amazing son, father, brother, friend and colleague. May his memory be a blessing. Please do not define him by the last thing he did, but rather think of all the light he spread,” Lisa Kearns, Eric’s sister, posted on Facebook.

“He was always very kind and very sociable,” said Eric’s grandfather Alfred Batzdorff in a phone call with J. “He was a pleasure to be with.” He said he saw Eric for the last time one week before he disappeared on Aug. 11.

Alfred and his wife, Susanne, are both 97 and Holocaust survivors who have long been active in their synagogue, Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa.

“The entire community was moved to tears. There is such love for his family,” said Beth Ami Rabbi Mordecai Miller. Eric was a father of two.

Batzdorff’s body was found on the 8600 block of Skyline Boulevard, on the edge of the Roberts Regional Recreation Area in East Oakland. The Alameda County Coroner’s Office will determine the official cause of death, Watson said.

In lieu of flowers, the Batzdorff family asks that donations are made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Eric’s name.

If you are contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, available 24 hours a day. You can also chat with a hotline counselor online here.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler was a staff writer at J. from 2019 to 2021.