The police have searched with dogs around the sports hall in Hammerfest at the weekend for missing Abdullahi Dayib Mohamud (23), but the search has yielded no results.
– We have today made a decision not to dig any more around the hall, says head of tactical investigation Torstein Pettersen in Finnmark police district, in a press release on Monday.
Abdullah Dayib Mohamud (23) disappeared, apparently without a trace, in Hammerfest almost two years ago
Mohamud was reported missing to the police by the family on 6 January 2021. By then the family had not had contact with Abdullahi for three weeks. The last confirmed sighting of the 23-year-old was outside an ATM in Hammerfest on 18 December 2020.
Little has happened in the case during the two years, but last week the police started digging outside a sports hall in the city. For two days, Wednesday and Thursday, the police dug in a specific place outside Vår Energi Arena, which is located in the area called “the prairie” in Hammerfest. But they ended the digging Thursday afternoon without making a discovery.
Got legal aid
During the two years he has been missing, it has been very difficult for the family to live with the uncertainty of what has happened to the 23-year-old.
– I feel that everything goes too slow. Now two years have passed and nothing has happened in the case with my brother, Ruweyda Mohamud, Abdullahi’s sister, previously told VG.
VG wrote before the weekend that the family had not been appointed a legal aid lawyer during the two years. But on Thursday the police submitted a petition to the court about this, and on Friday Espen Simonsen was appointed as legal aid for the family.
– I am in the process of receiving documents from the police. Now we are working intensively to get an overview of the case, says Simonsen to VG on Monday.
People VG has spoken to have questioned the fact that the family, which has been in a very difficult situation, has not been offered legal aid until now.
– Not applicable before
– During the nearly two years the case has been investigated, have the police informed the next of kin about the possibility of appointing a legal aid lawyer?
– It has not been relevant until now. There has been no concrete evidence that the missing person has been exposed to a criminal act until last autumn when we received a tip that he could be exposed to a criminal act. The missing person has therefore not had the status of offended before. The next of kin have been kept informed of all developments in the case, says prosecutor Anja Mikkelsen Indbjør to VG.
She says there is no basis for a publicly appointed public prosecutor in pure missing persons cases, and you must have a basis to say that something criminal has happened.
– When the investigation is now based on the main hypothesis that he is exposed to a criminal act, things turned out differently and a public prosecutor has now been appointed, says the head of the prosecution.
VG has not been able to get in touch with the family, but last week Abdullahi’s sister told VG that she hoped they could get a legal aid lawyer who could help them with the questions they had.
– No one deserves to live like that. I feel completely helpless and must get answers about what has happened, said Ruweyda Mohamud to VG.
Although the case is formally a missing persons case, the police’s main hypothesis is that Abdullahi is subjected to an act of violence, stated head of tactical investigation in Finnmark police district, Torstein Pettersen earlier this week.
On Thursday and Saturday, the police received assistance from three teams of crime detection dogs from Kripos and Finnish police and they searched an extended area around the sports hall, but no markings were made.
– In advance, we had drilled a large number of holes to see if the dogs got a better sense of smell to work with that way. But this did not change the result either, says Pettersen in the press release.
Bring in new tips
The police are now working further with questioning and reviewing the collected material.
– Who are you talking to?
– We speak to witnesses who may have knowledge of the case, and go through tips that may be interesting, he says to VG.
– Have you received any new tips on the matter?
– Yes, some new tips have come in, especially after the case came up in the media last week.
– When did you get the tip that it might be interesting to look outside the sports hall?
– It came during the summer and autumn, he says.