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Police announce $100K reward for help locating Elnaz Hajtamiri

'A female not involved in crime is literally plucked out of a house with violence, and nothing's been seen or heard from her in one calendar year, that is incredibly rare and disturbing,' OPP says of abduction of Richmond Hill woman one year ago today

Ontario Provincial Police and York Regional Police are now offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with information that will lead to the location of Elnaz Hajtamiri, who was violently abducted from a Wasaga Beach home on Jan. 12, 2022. 

Hajtamiri, who also goes by Tamiri, has been missing for one year.

OPP Det. Insp. Martin Graham said he's been a police officer for 32 years and never been involved in or aware of a case similar to this one.

"A female not involved in crime is literally plucked out of a house with violence, and nothing's been seen or heard from her in one calendar year, that is incredibly rare and disturbing," said Graham during a news conference today. 

On the evening of Jan. 12, 2022, the 37-year-old Richmond Hill resident was abducted by three Black men who were impersonating police officers. They charged into the Wasaga Beach 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. 

"Nothing weighs more heavily on our souls than the idea that we may never know what happened to Elnaz," said her mother Fariba Hajtamiri in a statement. "We know there are people out there who have information and who may be contemplating whether to come forward. We pray that you will do the right thing and help us out of this suffering and bring justice for Elnaz." 

Police have released two composite sketches of two of the three masked suspects involved in the abduction. Both suspects wore dark jackets over fake police vests, a balaclava with white trim pulled up over their nose and mouth, a gold, red and blue badge chained around their neck and dark pants, according to police. 

The first suspect is about six feet tall, very skinny, with light black skin, and a long narrow face. He was wearing a thick black belt with an attached handcuff pouch and holstered black gun with a magazine inside. The gun appeared to have been worn with metal areas exposed. 

The second suspect is about five-feet-nine-inches tall with lighter black skin. He is stocky with skinny legs, wearing white/cream coloured shoes with a plastic toe cap, cotton black gloves and was carrying imitation handcuffs. 

Hajtamiri is about five-feet-three-inches tall, slim build and had shoulder-length black hair that had been cut shorter before she was abducted. She immigrated to Canada from Iran less than five years ago. 

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.

Her ex-boyfriend, Mohamad Lilo, 35, was charged in both cases in July. Police have said he faces an abduction charge in Hajtamiri's January disappearance, and attempted murder and attempted abduction charges in the December parking lot incident. 

York Regional Police have also charged two other men in the December case. 

Police have stated the two events are linked, and investigators believe the people involved in the assault were either involved in the abduction or can identify the people who abducted her. 

Graham is asking the public to look closely at the sketches. 

"We know someone recognizes these suspects and can provide us that bit of information that will lead to Elnaz's whereabouts," said Graham in a news release. "We hope that anyone with any information will do the right thing by coming forward to police. Help us bring resolution to Elnaz's family." 

“York Regional Police is hopeful that the $100,000 reward will result in information that will help us to bring those responsible to justice and provide needed closure to the family,” said Chief Jim MacSween in a news release. “We will continue working diligently with the OPP and will do whatever we can to support them in their investigation.”

The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board approved $50,000 toward the $100,000 reward, MacSween said.

Police established a dedicated tip line for the investigation in January. 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 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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