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Police, mother, appeal to Farsi, Arabic communities for help finding woman abducted from Wasaga Beach

'We know someone out there has information about Elnaz's whereabouts,' said OPP detective

Three months after the violent abduction of a woman from a Wasaga Beach home, her family has no news, and police have received few tips, none leading them closer to her whereabouts. 

On the evening of Jan. 12, 2022, Elnaz Hajtamiri, 37, was abducted by three Black men who were impersonating police officers. They charged into the home where she was staying, grabbed her, dragged her outside and put her in a white SUV and then drove away with her in the back seat. 

Since then, police say there have been no ransom demands made, and no information to indicate a motive or rationale for the abduction. 

“It’s almost like she has disappeared. That’s incredibly unusual,” said OPP Det.-Insp. Martin Graham in an interview with Village Media. “It is incredibly rare for somebody to be kidnapped, not located within three months, with no ransom demand and with no direct information as to where she has gone.” 

Fariba Hajtamiri, Elnaz’s mother, said the family is living a “desperate life” with no news of their daughter. 

“We don’t know if she is alive or not,” said Fariba in a video message recorded at her home in Iran. 

Weeks prior to the abduction, Hajtamiri was attacked in a parking garage at her home in Richmond Hill on King William Crescent. She was beaten over the head with a frying pan before her attackers fled in a stolen vehicle, which was later recovered. Hajtamiri was taken to hospital and received stitches for a gash on her forehead.

GPS tracking devices were found in Hajtamiri’s personal vehicle around the time of the Dec. 20 assault.

Police located the vehicle used during the assault, which had been stolen the night before from North York. 

The white SUV, believed to be a Lexus RC350, used during the abduction in Wasaga Beach has not been recovered. 

“We believe the attack on Dec. 20 and the kidnapping on Jan. 12 were clearly targeted attacks against the same vulnerable victim,” said Graham. “There’s no evidence this was a random act committed by random people. This was a targeted attack and targeted kidnapping.” 

Graham confirmed the two events are linked, and OPP investigators believe the people involved in the assault were either involved in the abduction or can identify the people who abducted her. 

Police established a dedicated tip line for the investigation in January, but Graham said the few tips that have come in have not helped lead to any resolution in the case or the location of Elnaz Hajtamiri, who also goes by the surname Tamiri. 

“With no information coming forward to this point, it was felt that another approach needed to be taken and should be taken to accomplish the goal we are all trying to achieve, which is to locate Elnaz and bring her back to her family,” said Graham. 

In a news conference on April 12, police and Hajtamiri’s family appealed to Farsi- and Arabic-speaking communities to share any information that would help find her. 

“We desperately need your help. If you have any information, please share with the police. I beg you, as a mother, to guide us and tell us anything you know. Please help us find Elnaz,” said Fariba Hajtamiri in her video message, which was subtitled.

Graham urged people to come forward and “do the right thing” by reporting what they know to police to help bring “resolution to Elnaz’s family.”

“We know someone out there has information about Elnaz’s whereabouts,” said Graham during the news conference. “We want to hear from you please. We need to hear from you.”

Graham said it’s clear there were three people who carried out the abduction and more than one person involved in the Dec. 20 assault, all of whom know something that could help lead police to Hajtamiri. 

“There are a lot of people who know who committed this crime and why it happened and some know where Elnaz is located,” Graham told Village Media. “Neither incident was committed by a sole individual.” 

One person was arrested for assault in Wasaga Beach on Jan. 21, whom OPP confirm was known to Hajtamiri, and had a relationship with her. He has been released on bail and is scheduled to appear in Collingwood court today (April 12). 

Hajtamiri is about 5’3” tall, slim build, with shoulder-length black hair, but it was cut a little shorter before her abduction. She emigrated from Iran to Canada less than four years ago.

You can read more about her, as well as an appeal from her family members, here.

Anyone with information on this abduction and home invasion can call the dedicated tip line at 1-888-728-3415. Police are also using the hashtag #BringElnazHome on social media. Information can also be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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