THE heartbroken fiancé of a tech CEO has described the emotional moment that he met the homeless man who discovered his partner’s hidden body.
Friends and family came together to hold a vigil for Beau Mann, 39, in Santa Monica, California, at the haunting site where he was discovered a year and a half after disappearing.
Mann’s skeletal remains were discovered in between a shed and a wall at an abandoned apartment complex by a homeless man named Fred Stewart in late April.
They were identified by officials through dental records after they got help from his fiancé Jason Abate’s online sleuth group, The U.S. Sun exclusively revealed.
Questions regarding the circumstances of his disappearance continue to haunt his family after Mann was last seen getting into an Uber outside his Los Angeles office on November 30, 2021.
The CEO got into a car for a 30-minute ride after purchasing cleaning supplies and a bag of ice, which his family believes was a sign that he should’ve been heading home.
However, he abruptly changed his trip and texted 911 before he got out of the car and was never seen or heard from again. His body was discovered just 1,000 feet from where his Uber dropped him off.
Friends and family took the short walk from the drop-off point to the abandoned building on Saturday to honor Mann’s memory and attempt to provide peace to one another.
Speaking exclusively to The U.S. Sun, Mann’s fiancé Jason Abate described the moment that he connected with Stewart who was cleaning up the abandoned apartment when he found the CEO.
“He was a loving, caring man,” Abate said. “Fred was just so inviting to me.”
Abate said despite Stewart’s shy nature, the two formed an almost telepathic link while connecting over the tragedy.
“He knew the pain I was going through,” Abate said through tears. “This wasn’t just [a skeleton] he found, this was a real person who was loved, and you could feel it coming from him.”
After the two met, Abate asked if he could embrace him before breaking down.
“I said, even though it wasn’t the outcome any of us wanted or hoped for, you did help us,” Abate said.
“Because the worst feeling in the world is not knowing where someone is and going down all the dark rabbit holes that your brain will take you.”
Abate described the scene where his partner was found, saying witnesses told him Mann’s body was facing a fence with a gray mat thrown on top of him.
“Beau was a scaredy-cat. He would never have gone back there,” he said, describing it as a horrible place.
“To venture in a spot like that and then lay facing towards the wall where he couldn’t see anything going on behind him, which is the entire courtyard, that makes no sense.”
Abate believes his positioning is evidence that Mann did not put himself there or collapse in that spot.
Mann’s cause of death remains a mystery and his family hired a private investigator to try to find out what happened.
The PI offered a theory of what could’ve led up to his death but the family isn’t in total agreement with the conclusions and they hope Santa Monica Police Department’s investigation will lead to more answers.
As the questions linger, Mann’s company is working to ensure that his legacy lives on.
Mann launched Sober Grid in 2015 with a mission to connect and motivate people fighting addiction struggles.
The app is said to have helped over 350,000 users.
“We hope you will take a moment to think about Beau today,” the company said after his body was found.
“His bright smile and endless energy and compassion will be missed. While he is no longer with us, we know Beau’s spirit will live on in Sober Grid’s mission to help those in need.”
Abate told The U.S. Sun that he believes his partner saved countless lives with his product and urged the public to remember him as a man who always put others first.
“This is an app that is all over the world and has helped people, and I don’t know if we’ll ever know how many people have been helped,” Abate said.
A community member has created a GoFundMe to raise funds for Stewart, who is homeless.
According to the campaign’s description, he is happy in his living situation but is happy to accept any gifts that he can put toward food and necessities.
The organizer said in a video update that she plans to put the money toward a Walmart gift card.