Missing teen’s relatives consider hiring private eye



Torstar news services


Nadia Kajouji


Frustrated that city police told them the search for missing Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji would be suspended over Easter, the woman’s aunt said the family is now "seriously considering" the services of a private investigator.

"(Investigators) get to have a weekend with their families, but we can’t do that," Candita Martens-Mills said yesterday. "We don’t have that option."

Martens-Mills said police told Kajouji’s family that the search for the 18-year-old would resume today. Meanwhile, a private investigator based out of Kajouji’s hometown of Brampton has offered his services to help find her.

Ottawa Police did not return calls yesterday.

Before she disappeared this month, Kajouji promised her grandmother she would be home for Easter dinner, Martens-Mills said, adding, "If she was out there like everyone said, she’d be here."

Kajouji, a first-year public affairs and policy student, was last seen on March 9. The family has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to her return. Her father, Mohamad Kajouji, arrived in Ottawa a week-and-a-half ago to look for her. Ottawa Valley Search and Rescue continued its efforts to find her yesterday and today.

Friends are also looking. A Facebook group to help find Kajouji has more than 10,000 members and spawned a rally on the weekend by Carleton students.

The group, organized by second-year anthropology student Will Samuel, canvassed the area to make people aware Kajouji was missing.

"We went door-to-door and put up posters with her photo," said Samuel. "It was successful in that sense ... of raising awareness."

Martens-Mills said the family is "really discouraged" with how city police handled Kajouji’s disappearance.

"They waited 10 days to interview her roommates and they didn’t take her computer until Nadia’s father said, ‘Aren’t you going to take her computer and look at it?,’" she said.

"It’s two weeks into it and they had the perfect opportunity to spend the entire weekend to be all over everything."

Kajouji is 5-foot-8, 130 pounds. She has hazel eyes and shoulder-length brown hair with blonde streaks. She has a pierced eyebrow and tongue.

Anyone with information can contact Ottawa police at 613-236-1222, ext. 3726.With files from TorStar News Services