A week after three sisters from Koura in North Lebanon were found dead on the coast of Tartus in Syria, another girl’s mysterious disappearance shakes the country again.
Elissar Khodr Mama, from Jabal Mohsen in Tripoli, went missing on April 5th when she never came back home from work. With no clue where she could be, her family immediately alerted local authorities.
Days later, her family received a message from an apparent kidnapper who claimed to have her. He demanded a ransom of $10,000 in exchange for her safe return home.
To prove that she was with him and that she was okay, Elissar was allowed to send an audio message and even video call her family.
In this triggering video call, you can see that Elissar is crying speaking to her mother and her mother promising that she will secure the money to get her back. “Even if we have to beg for it,” she said, wailing in pain for her daughter, living every parent’s worst nightmare.
Additionally, according to local media, the random amount was later reduced to $8,000, and it was requested that the money be delivered to the Western Beqaa area.
When the kidnapper learned the family informed authorities, he threatened to kill Elissar. “Didn’t I tell you not to tell anyone? Why did they call me from the Tabbaneh police station? Forget about your daughter,” the kidnapper wrote via WhatsApp.
However, a strange detail must not go unnoticed. Citing a security source, local media reported that Elissar left her family a note saying, “Forgive me, I love you.” (This is similar to the message left by one of the three sisters who were found dead last week after disappearing for days).
The existence of the note leads to the initial assumption that she left her home at her own will, knowing that she may never return.
Consequently, confusion was high when an alleged kidnapper demanded a ransom.
The Internal Security Forces are currently investigating the matter to uncover the truth behind her disappearance and apparent kidnapping.
Did she leave at her own will and get kidnapped in the process? Did someone fool her with false promises and take her hostage? Is Elissar’s kidnapping connected to that of the three sisters? These are all questions the ISF is working to answer.