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Disappearance of Sihem: what we know about the investigation for "kidnapping and forcible confinement" opened in the Gard


The 18-year-old girl has not been seen since January 25. Investigators fear a kidnapping, while two people s

The concern is growing hour by hour in the Gard, a week after the disappearance of Sihem, aged 18.

The young girl remains untraceable and the investigators favor the track of an abduction after she was seen getting into a vehicle the night of her disappearance.

The point on what we know about this case.

The girl who has been missing for a week

This 18-year-old high school student left her 95-year-old grandmother's home on January 25 around 11:10 p.m., in La Grand-Combe (Gard).

"My mother heard her come in around 11 p.m. and then come out ten minutes later," said Rabah, Sihem's father.

She heard the door close.

The man told us that his daughter had "not taken her identity papers or her wallet, just her iPhone 13".

According to our information, she would then be in a vehicle, alongside a man, who was taken into custody.

Since then, Sihem has not been found and has never answered calls from her family.

His father reported his disappearance the next day at midday, at the police station in Alès, a few kilometers from La Grand-Combe.

An investigation opened for kidnapping and forcible confinement

Following this report, the file was then sent to the Gard gendarmerie group, which began investigations for "disturbing disappearance".

Substantial search resources have been deployed, in particular a canine team.

Faced with the absence of elements to locate the young adult, the gendarmes published this Saturday a call for witnesses.

This specifies that Sihem is 1.69 m tall and was wearing a brown woolen sweater, black pants and light sneakers at the time of his disappearance.

[worrying disappearance of an adult]Since Wednesday January 25, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., the gendarmerie has been...

Posted by Gendarmerie du Gard on Friday, January 27, 2023

The public prosecutor of Alès François Schneider then opened this Sunday a procedure for kidnapping and forcible confinement.

"Obviously, the investigators have sufficient evidence to believe that Sihem did not disappear of his own free will," said Sara Benlefki, the family's lawyer, on Monday.

The investigation was transferred on Tuesday from the Alès prosecutor's office to the criminal center of the Nîmes prosecutor's office.

Two people in custody

According to concordant sources, a 39-year-old man, born in Salles-du-Gardon (Gard), was taken into custody on Tuesday by the gendarmes of the Nîmes research section.

It would be a relative of the victim.

Mahfoud H.'s ex-girlfriend was also taken into custody on Tuesday evening, according to our information.

A first search was carried out in the afternoon at the home of the main suspect, a second followed in the evening.

Mahfoud H. was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2015, along with two other accomplices, for a series of organized gang robberies and armed robberies in the Alès region in 2012. He was to appear this Wednesday, February 1 before the Gard Assize Court for a home confinement case dating back to 2011.

Source: leparis

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