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Thread: Abdullahi Sharif (18) was found in a river months after going missing

  1. #1
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    Abdullahi Sharif (18) was found in a river months after going missing

    The Des Moines Police Department announced Wednesday it isn't ruling out foul play in the case of Abdullahi Sharif, a missing Des Moines teen.

    Sharif, 18, was last seen leaving Target at 5901 Douglas Ave. near Merle Hay Mall on Jan. 17.

    "I've had people say to me: 'He's an adult. What if he just decided to leave?' Well, if he's an adult and decided to leave, that's OK, but there is nothing here to indicate that's what happened," said Sgt. Paul Parizek, with Des Moines police.

    Sharif's family announced they, along with the community, have raised money for a $5,000 reward.

    "If anyone had anything to do with this young man's disappearance, we want you to call," said Ako Abdul-Samad, a Des Moines youth advocate.

    Police have called this case baffling. They've spent hundreds of hours on it and still can't locate video footage of Sharif after he left Target.

    "We keep checking back to see if (Sharif's phone) powers on," Parizek said. "We keep checking back to see if we get a ping or a blip somewhere, and we are going to keep doing that until we get those answers."

    Police also said there's been no online banking or social media activity from Sharif.

    "Our lead investigator told me the other day, there has been a couple of nights where he has laid awake all night trying to figure out where could he have possibly gone," Parizek said.

    Sharif's mother said she spent the last 12 days crying in her son's room.

    "We are asking the community for help. We are asking the community to take on a position to not think they are snitching," Abdul-Samad said.

    The family asked that anyone with information about Sharif's whereabouts share it with the Des Moines Police Department at 515-283-4811.

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    A single surveillance video captured the last moment 18-year-old Abdullahi "Abdi" Sharif was seen. Since then, police have been unable to find a trace of the young Des Moines man.

    Family, community leaders and police joined at Creative Visions, 1343 13th St., 4 p.m. Wednesday as the search for Sharif continued. Sharif was last seen leaving the Merle Hay Mall Target, where he works, Jan. 17 during a winter storm.

    Led by community improvement organization Creative Visions, $5,000 was raised to incentivize anyone who can lead police to Sharif.

    "We don't know what to say," Sharif's uncle Ahmed Hashi said at the news conference. "In two weeks, we haven't seen Abdullahi. We don't have any word."
    Police are asking for the public's assistance locating Abdullahi "Abdi" Sharif, 18, who has been missing sicne Friday.

    Hashi said Sharif's mother, Fadumo Ahmed, has lost sleep since the teen went missing nearing two weeks ago. Hashi said it is out of character for Sharif to not call and let them know where he is.

    Sharif's mother dropped Sharif off at work that day and last spoke to him a few hours later when he called to say he would be working late. Near 2 p.m. that day, he also called his sister.

    Police have scoured surveillance but only found a video of him leaving work about 5:30 p.m. Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek said at the news conference Sharif appears to have left the building voluntarily, but they don't know the circumstances of his disappearance past that.

    Ako Abdul-Samad, a Statehouse representative and founder of Creative Visions, said at the news conference there is a whole community of people looking for Sharif.

    If he could speak to Sharif directly, Hashi said he only wanted to say "Come home."
    Parizek said obstacles keep mounting in the search for the missing young man.

    Police haven't found any other surveillance video capturing the teen despite there being numerous cameras at Merle Hay Mall. Parizek said Sharif doesn't have the social media presence usually seen by kids his age.

    A lot of the information that usually falls into the lap of police because of today's technology is nonexistent in this case. The teen's phone went out of service as soon as he left Target.

    Officers have gone business-to-business and door-to-door trying to find someone who can lead them to Sharif. Fellow employees at Target said Sharif was acting normally the day he disappeared.

    As time goes on, the concern grows. One of the lead detectives spent all night trying to piece together the information they do have, Parizek said.

    Parizek added that people Sharif's age usually don't have the resources to sustain themselves long term.

    "We know just from history that as the cases move a little bit longer down the road, those leads tend to kind of slow down," Parizek said. "We want to bring whatever life we can bring to this case — if adding a reward is what's going to give it a bump, that's what we're going to do.

  3. #3
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    After a months-long search that involved local police, the FBI, and community members and spanned the United States and parts of Canada, the body of an Iowa teenager has been found.

    Police found the body of Abdullahi "Abdi" Sharif on May 2 after responding to a kayaker's report of a body seen in the Des Moines River at Prospect Park, the Des Moines Police Department announced Monday. He had been missing since January.

    Sharif was discovered submerged near the river's north bank, police said in a statement shared on Facebook. The Des Moines Fire Department and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources worked together for the water rescue.

    A cause of death has not yet been determined, but there was no traumatic injury observed during autopsy, police said. The cause of death will be released "following complete examination of autopsy findings," according to the police's statement.

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