An Algerian missing for 26 years was found captive in a neighbor’s basement | crime news

Police say the man who first disappeared in 1998 was held by a 61-year-old neighbor just minutes from his home.

An Algerian man who disappeared in 1998 during the country’s civil war was found alive in his neighbor’s basement 26 years later, according to authorities.

The country’s Justice Ministry said Tuesday that the man, alternatively identified as Omar bin Omran or Omar B, disappeared when he was 19 and had long been assumed to have been kidnapped or murdered.

But he was found alive earlier this week at the age of 45, after being held captive by a neighbor in a pen hidden among haystacks just 200 meters from his former home in Djelfa, part of northern Algeria.

The ministry said an investigation into the “heinous” crime was underway and that the victim was receiving medical and psychological care.

Police arrested the alleged captor, a 61-year-old janitor, after he tried to flee. The kidnapping was discovered after the suspect’s brother posted revealing information on social media, amid an alleged succession dispute between the brothers.

“On May 12 at 8:00 p.m. local time, the victim Omar bin Omran, 45, was found in the basement of his neighbor, BA, 61,” a judicial official said.

The victim’s mother died in 2013, when the family still believed he was probably dead. Algerian media reported that bin Omran told his rescuers that he could sometimes see his family from afar, but that he felt unable to scream due to a “spell” placed on his captor. he had thrown him.

Bin Omran’s discovery on Sunday solves a mystery that had persisted in his community since Algeria’s bloody civil war. Relatives of war victims continue to seek justice for their missing and deceased loved ones.

About 200,000 people died in the 1990s during the war, which pitted the government against Islamist fighters. That period is sometimes called Algeria’s “Black Decade.”

Some 20,000 people are believed to have been abducted during the course of the war, which ended in 2002. According to SOS Disparus, an Algerian association for people forcibly disappeared during the war, some 8,000 Algerians disappeared between 1992 and 1998 alone.

Leave a Comment