A woman abducted from Wasaga Beach, Ontario. was attacked weeks earlier, cousin says

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A woman who police say was abducted by three men in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. earlier this month, was also attacked in a separate incident just weeks before she was abducted, her cousin says.

On top of that, Elnaz Hajtamiri, 37, had reason to believe she was being watched after tracking devices were found on a car she was renting, according to her cousin.

These are just some of the new details Hajtamiri’s family are sharing about his life before his disappearance. The family are working with investigators and asking for the public’s help as police continue to search for her, 16 days after her abduction.

“It was devastating… The family was kind of crushed by it,” the cousin said. “It’s as if [our] lives have stopped in this moment.”

CBC News is not identifying the cousin, who lives in the United States, out of concern for her safety.

2 violent attacks

Hajtamiri’s cousin said the first attack happened on the evening of December 21, when two masked men jumped on Hajtamiri in the parking lot of her Richmond Hill condominium and beat her badly with a frying pan. . York Regional Police confirmed to CBC News that investigators were “actively investigating” the assault.

“This [attack] caused a massive gash in his head. She had about 35 to 40 stitches. It was pretty awful,” the cousin said.

The cousin also said that during their investigation police found a tracking device attached to Hajtamiri’s car – and it was not the first time this had happened.

Two tracking devices had already been discovered under her Lexus by dealership employees, the cousin said, when she brought it in for repair.

“It’s obviously very shocking to her. She was terrified for her life,” the cousin said.

CBC News was unable to confirm details from the trackers, but independently confirmed that his car had been repaired at the time of the attack.

Elnaz Hajtamiri, 37, is pictured here with her late husband Farnam Shapourifar. Police say Hajtamiri was abducted by three men from a home in Wasaga Beach, Ontario on Wednesday, January 12, 2021. (Submitted by Hajtamiri family)

According to the cousin, the first attack so shaken Hajtamiri that she went to live with relatives in a house in Trailwood Place in Wasaga Beach, a small town on the south shore of Georgian Bay about 145 kilometers north of Toronto.

It was there that she was abducted on January 12 at around 8:30 p.m. by three men dressed in police gear who claimed to have a warrant to arrest her, OPP investigators said ( OPP) last week.

Det.-Insp. Matt Watson said the suspects overpowered the owner and abducted Hajtamiri, then took off in a white Lexus RX SUV.

“They broke into the house and overwhelmed the family and basically dragged Elnaz barefoot through the freezing snow,” his cousin said. “[The men] took his watch and cell phone, threw them in the snow. She was obviously screaming at the time, and then there was a period of silence after that.”

The cousin asks residents with security cameras in the neighborhood where Hajtamiri was abducted to check their footage for any traces of the white SUV.

The family thinks she is still alive

The cousin did not say if the family had any clues as to why Hajtamiri might have been targeted, or if they had any theories about who her attackers were.

“Elnaz was a very, very wonderful person with integrity and high moral standards, and we have no reason to believe that she was involved in or in contact with anyone who engaged in criminal activity,” the cousin said. . “We believe she is still alive because we have no reason to believe otherwise.”

OPP officials told CBC News they had no further updates on the status of the investigation.

Elnaz Hajtamiri, 37, is pictured here with students at a school she helped fund in Iran. Police say Hajtamiri was abducted by three men from a home in Wasaga Beach, Ontario on Wednesday, January 12, 2021. (Submitted by Hajtamiri family)

Hajtamiri, who also goes by the surname Tamiri, is described as five-foot-three, with a slim build and shoulder-length black hair.

She was born in Iran and came to Canada in 2018 and found work in the import-export shipping industry, according to a family press release, but recently quit her job to focus on starting a cake-making business. The statement says she has also volunteered for charities.

She married a veterinarian named Farnam Shapourifar when she was 25, but he died in 2017, the statement said. The family says Hajtamiri used her savings to help build a school for young girls in a poor village in Iran in honor of her late husband.

OPP investigators have set up a dedicated hotline for the case at 1-833-728-3415, and are asking the public for any information that might help locate Hajtamiri.

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