The former partner of a woman from Canada who was kidnapped by individuals pretending to be police officers has been accused of first-degree murder. This development adds another unexpected turn to a well-known kidnapping case that had left investigators puzzled for almost two years.
On January 12, 2022, Elnaz Hajtamiri was forcibly removed from a residence in a beach community in Ontario by three men wearing police gear. They entered the home without permission and transported her barefoot through the snow to a waiting vehicle.
Police announced on Thursday that Mohamad Lilo, the ex-boyfriend of Hajtamiri, has been charged with her murder. This is the first public statement from police indicating that they believe the missing woman has been killed.
Lilo, who was previously Hajtamiri’s business partner, was already accused of kidnapping in relation to her disappearance. She also faces charges of attempted murder and attempted kidnapping for a previous assault where she was attacked and beaten with a frying pan in an underground garage.
The assault resulted in severe injuries to the head which needed 40 stitches. According to authorities, they were able to recover a tracking device from the location. Additionally, two more tracking devices were discovered in her car during a routine maintenance check in November.
Two individuals, Riyasat Singh and Harshdeep Binner, were charged by the police in connection to the assault at the parking garage.
Following the kidnapping, officials urged the community to provide any relevant details.
“No burden weighs more heavily on our hearts than the possibility that we may never discover Elnaz’s fate. We are aware that there are individuals who possess knowledge and are considering coming forward,” stated Fariba Hajtamiri, Elnaz’s mother, in a previous statement.
“We hope that you will make the right decision and assist us in overcoming this hardship.”
The family had also promised a C$100,000 reward for any information that could help in arresting those who abducted her.
Hajtamiri, also known as Tamiri, was born in Iran and moved to Canada less than five years ago following the passing of her husband. Shortly before she went missing, she had established her own cake-making business after leaving the import-export industry.