Police have arrested a man as part of an investigation into a woman’s abduction in Wasaga Beach, Ont., last month, CBC News has learned.
Montreal resident Mohamad Lilo, 34, was taken into custody on Jan. 21 and charged with criminal harassment, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). He was released on bail on Jan. 25 and is set to appear virtually in a Collingwood, Ont., court on Feb. 22.
Police wouldn’t confirm who the alleged victim in the case is, but multiple sources said it is 37-year-old Elnaz Hajtamiri.
Hajtamiri, who lives in the Toronto area, has been missing since she was forcibly taken by three men on the evening of Jan. 12 from a home where she was staying with relatives on Trailwood Place in Wasaga Beach — a popular tourist town at the foot of Georgian Bay, about a two-hour drive north of Toronto.
Police haven’t charged anyone with abducting Hajtamiri at this time.
Hajtamiri’s family issued an email statement late Wednesday thanking the OPP for its investigation.
However, the arrest “doesn’t bring Elnaz any closer to being brought home,” the statement continued.
Sources say Lilo is the former boyfriend of Hajtamiri, who also goes by the last name Tamiri, and that the two broke up last October.
The sources also say the alleged criminal harassment occurred in the weeks leading up to her disappearance.
As part of his bail conditions, Lilo is prohibited from being in Wasaga Beach.
CBC News has reached out to Lilo but has yet to receive a response.
Hajtamiri injured in December attack, family says
CBC News previously reported that Hajtamiri was attacked on Dec. 21 by two men who jumped her in the parking garage of her Richmond Hill condo building. During the attack she was beaten with a frying pan, her cousin told CBC News, and suffered a head wound requiring 35 to 40 stitches.
York Regional Police confirmed it is investigating the incident.
CBC News is not identifying the cousin, who lives in the U.S., out of concern for her safety.
The same cousin told CBC News that Hajtamiri had reason to believe she was being watched at the time after tracking devices were found on a car she had been leasing.
Sources this week told CBC News there was a witness in the car with Hajtamiri at the time of the December attack, and that the witness has told police one of the attackers recorded the beating on their phone.
Meanwhile, a family spokesperson said Wednesday that Hajtamiri’s family has now hired Tom Klatt, a private investigator who previously worked with the Toronto Police Service. The family has also retained former Crown prosecutor Devin Bains to look into the case.
Hajtamiri is described as five feet, three inches tall, with a slim build and shoulder-length black hair.
She was born in Iran, came to Canada in 2018, and found work in the import-export shipping industry, according to a news release from the family, but she recently left her job to focus on building a cake-making business.