It was cold and crisp outside, a typical January night punctuated by bitter winds howling in from Georgian Bay.
Lurking in the chilly dark were three men whose intentions were evil. Their scheme was audacious.
In the depths of that winter evening, the trio — dressed in cop gear — would snatch 37-year-old Elnaz Hajtamiri from her relatives’ home where she was hiding.
That was on Jan. 12, 2022, and almost one year later, there have been arrests but still no sign of the pretty Iranian immigrant who dreamed of opening her own cake business.
OPP Det.-Insp. Martin Graham told The Toronto Sun that investigators remain committed to bringing the kidnappers to justice.
“One person, Elnaz’s former boyfriend Mohamad Lilo, has been charged and arrested with her kidnapping, but we are still actively looking for the three black men dressed in police gear,” Graham said.
“More importantly, we want to locate Elnaz and bring her home to her family.”
Graham said OPP detectives will provide an update for the media on Thursday, providing a number of new details.
There has been something of a framework and clues in the investigation almost from the minute Hajtamiri was snatched. The trio claimed they were at the Wasaga Beach home to arrest Hajtamiri.
After a minor dust-up, the kidnappers fled with Hajtamiri in a white Lexus RX. There have never been ransom demands or contacts with the criminals responsible.
In that vacuum rose speculation: Was she grabbed for personal reasons? A jealous ex-boyfriend carrying a twisted torch? Drugs? Gambling? Or was it political, something ugly from the old country rearing its head here?
There was no such speculation by OPP detectives. They were locked in on the who and a number of whys early on. They just kept it to themselves.
What the public and media didn’t know was that Hajtamiri had been the victim of a violent attack on Dec. 20, 2021 in an underground Richmond Hill parking garage. Luckily, the attack was thwarted when it was interrupted.