Family frantic over missing teen
Despite growing fears that she may be being held against her will, the friends and family of Nadia Kajouji remained optimistic yesterday that the Carleton University student will find her way home.
One week after Kajouji, 18, was last seen on campus, things still aren’t adding up for her aunt, Candita Martens-Mills, who suspects something sinister is at play, despite police assurances.
"Nothing makes sense, other than her being held against her will," said Martens-Mills, an Orangeville resident. "It doesn’t make sense that she would go out and leave all of her stuff — her cell phone, her wallet with all her money. She wouldn’t let us sit and worry.
"She would know that we would all be upset and looking for her. I know she would phone if she could."
Described by family members as "happy-go-lucky, full of life, confident, outspoken and intelligent," Kajouji was last seen on March 9. Her parents were both in Ottawa looking for their only child over the weekend.
Although her mother, Deborah Chevalier, has returned home to Brampton, her father, Mohamad Kajouji, said he’ll stay in Ottawa until she’s found, and he continues to hand out flyers.
"We have no clues as to where she may be or what may have happened to her," Chevalier told Metro yesterday.
"I cannot imagine her going so long without contacting at least someone if she is able. It’s frightening and terrifies all of us."
Until she has confirmation, Chevalier will continue to hope.
"Hope is all I have right now," she said. "I fear for the worst, and as much as I find it impossible to believe that she would suddenly run off and drop all contact with everyone, I actually hope that I am very wrong and that is all that has happened."
Last week, Martens-Mills started a Facebook group dedicated to finding Kajouji. Almost 2,000 people have joined.
City police have been flooded with calls from her friends but are no closer to finding her. But at this point, police do not suspect foul play, said Missing Persons Unit Detective Donna Cholette.
Nikita Singh was shocked to learn her friend was missing.
"I don’t want to jump to conclusions," said Singh, a friend of Kajouji’s since Grade 1 at Brampton’s Birchbank Elementary School. "But it’s uncharacteristic of her to be gone like this. If she was going out, she would take all of her stuff with her."
Kajouji is a Mediterranean female with dark skin. She is 5-foot-8, 130 pounds with a medium build, hazel eyes, and shoulder-length brown hair with blonde streaks.
"There has got to be someone out there that knows something or knows someone who knows something," Martens-Mills said. "Just vanishing into thin air is unfathomable."