20.8 C
New York

Moment ‘kidnapped’ man is found after 27 YEARS hidden in neighbour’s cellar yards from family who thought he was dead

Published:

THIS is the moment a man who was “kidnapped” as a teenager nearly 30 years ago was found in the cellar of a neighbour’s home.

Omar Bin Omran vanished from Djelfa in Algeria when he was just 17 years old – and was until now believed by his family to have died.

Omar Bin Omran disappeared from his home city of Djelfa in 1996, aged 17

6

Omar Bin Omran disappeared from his home city of Djelfa in 1996, aged 17
The man, now aged 45, was discovered by authorities on Sunday

6

The man, now aged 45, was discovered by authorities on Sunday
Pictures and video show a bearded Omar looking terrified

6

Pictures and video show a bearded Omar looking terrified
Omar was discovered by authorities at a property not far from his family home

6

Omar was discovered by authorities at a property not far from his family home

Omar’s family assumed their missing loved one had died during a civil war between Algeria’s government and various Islamist rebel groups.

That was until Sunday, when Omar – now aged 45 – was discovered in the hay-covered cellar of his 61-year-old neighbour.

Shocking footage showed Omar being helped out of the cellar where he had allegedly been hidden since 1996, at a property only yards from the family home where he grew up.

He was shown in pictures and in video wearing a sweater, with a beard and a desperate look on his face.

More horror ‘kidnappings’

Local reports claimed the cellar was a covered well on a sheep farm and that Omar had been kept under haystacks.

Officials confirmed they arrested the 61-year-old man suspected of keeping Omar prisoner for 27 years.

Public prosecutors in Djelfa said in a statement: “The Djelfa Attorney General’s Office informs the public that on May 12 at 8pm local time it found victim Omar B, aged 45, in the case of his neighbour, B.A., aged 61.”

The suspect is understood to live alone and work as a civil servant.

Following news of the suspect’s arrest, Omar’s family recalled how the teen’s dog waited at the doorstep of his alleged kidnapper for some time after Omar disappeared – before the dog vanished, too.

Another neighbour told Algerian TV station Bilad: “His (Omar’s) poor mum died while he was in captivity, without knowing what had happened to him, without knowing that all this time he was really right beside her.”

Missing American Ana Knezevich’s husband David charged with kidnapping after she vanished in Spain three months ago

The Public Prosecutor’s Office received a complaint, via the regional department of National Gendarmerie in El Jadid, against an anonymous person claiming that Omar was in the house of one of his neighbours, inside a sheepfold, said a court official in Djelfa.

Unconfirmed local reports alleged Omar’s family was alerted to his whereabouts after the brother of his alleged captor revealed details of the “kidnapping” on social media amid an inheritance dispute.

The court official said: “Following this report the General Prosecutor of the Court of Idrisiya in the province of Djelfa ordered the National Gendarmerie to open an in-depth investigation and officers went to the house in question.”

He added: “The Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered that the victim receive medical and psychological treatment, and the suspect will be presented to the Public Prosecutor’s Office immediately after the completion of the investigation.”

Officials promised that the “perpetrator of this heinous crime” will be tried with “severity”.

Algerian media reported the victim was unable to call for help due to a spell his alleged abductor had cast on him.

World’s longest ‘kidnapping’ cases

THERE were 7,420 kidnapping offences recorded by cops in England and Wales in the year 2022/23 – an increase from the previous year.

Here are some of the world’s longest kidnapping cases:

December 4, 1972: Steven Stayner, seven, was kidnapped on his way home from school in California and raised by his abductor Kenneth Parnell for seven years, until Parnell abducted a second child – Timmy White – in 1980. Both boys escaped on March 1, 1980.

1974: Suzanne Marie Sevakis, five, from North Carolina, was raised by her abductor. The truth of her origins were discovered in 1990 when she died in an apparent hit-and-run.

February 13, 1976: Victoria Montenegro, the daughter of People’s Revolutionary Army dissidents, was kidnapped aged 13 days and raised by an army colonel while her parents were killed. Her true identity was established in 2000 following a DNA test.

May 19, 1977: Colleen Stan, 20, was kidnapped in California while hitchhiking. She was tortured and sexually abused for seven years until her abductor Cameron Hooker’s wife helped her escape in 1984.

1978: Doina Bumbea, 28, was possibly kidnapped to provide a wife to an American defector in North Korea. She died in 1997 from lung cancer.

August 29, 1984: Elisabeth Fritzl, 18, was held captive for 24 years in the basement of her family home in Austria by her father Josef who sexually abused her. The abuse led to the birth of seven children and one miscarriage. Elisabeth and her three captive children were released by Josef in 2008 when one child became seriously ill.

Other cases of children imprisoned by relatives include:

  • Alba Nidia Álvarez, Mariquita, Colombia, 25 years, discovered in March 2009
  • Anna, Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, United States, six years, discovered on February 6, 1938
  • Blanche Monnier, Poitiers, France, 25 years
  • Drenthe hermits family of six children, Ruinerwold, the Netherlands, at least nine years, discovered in October 2019
  • Elizabeth Wesson, her sisters, her children, her nieces and her nephews, Fresno, California, US, 26 years, discovered in 2004
  • Genie, Arcadia, California, United States, 13 years, discovered on November 4, 1970
  • Jürgen Bartsch, Langenberg, Germany, six years
  • “M” and her children, Moe, Victoria, Australia, 28 years, discovered in February 2007
  • Laura Mongelli, Turin, Italy, 25 years
  • Lucero case, Argentina, 20 years, discovered in May 2009
  • Lydia Gouardo, Val-de-Marne, France, 28 years
  • Rosalynn McGinnis, Missouri, United States, 19 years, escaped in 2016
  • Sheffield incest case, UK, 25 years, discovered in November 2008
  • Schollenberger Case, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, United States, 10 years, discovered in May 2020
  • South Wales paternal sex abuse case, South Wales, UK, 20 years, discovered in 2019
  • Turpin case, Perris, California, United States, 29 years, discovered on January 14, 2018
  • Sisters Viktoria, Katharina, and Elisabeth, Linz, Austria, seven years
Omar was allegedly kept in a covered well under haystacks at a sheep farm

6

Omar was allegedly kept in a covered well under haystacks at a sheep farm
Crowds swarm to welcome Omar after he was discovered by authorities on Sunday

6

Crowds swarm to welcome Omar after he was discovered by authorities on Sunday

Related articles

Recent articles

spot_img