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Missing Man Found After 27 Years, Captured By Neighbour

Man Missing For 27 Years, Found Captured By Neighbour 200 Meters From Home

Omar Bin Omran vanished from Djelfa in Algeria when he was just 17 years old.

The man, now aged 45, was discovered by authorities on Sunday.

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 1997, 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.

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: “(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.”

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.


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