'Missing mom' case closed
by Shaka S. Lias
Apr 15, 2011 | 7456 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap addresses local, state and national media Thursday afternoon after it had been reported that Wazineh Suleiman, who went missing Friday night about 9, had been located alive and well. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap addresses local, state and national media Thursday afternoon after it had been reported that Wazineh Suleiman, who went missing Friday night about 9, had been located alive and well. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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After six days of unknown whereabouts, the mystery of Wazineh Suleiman remains just that -- a mystery.

Thursday morning Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap told a Daily Tribune News reporter that he was "tickled to death" that the mother was found. He said he was contacted by a sheriff in another county and told that Suleiman had been located Wednesday night. He declined to say which county. However, he did say local authorities spoke with Suleiman.

Millsap announced during a press conference Thursday that the case is closed, and the 30-year-old mother of five who disappeared Friday night will not be charged. According to a statement from his press conference, no criminal wrongdoing were found.

Millsap's statement was:

"The case of Wazineh Suleiman is closed. She is in a safe location; she is alive [and] she is well. She does not wish at this time to let anyone know where she is. We will respect her wishes as law enforcement officers. She made that request so we will not tell anyone where she is. Why she left is her business not ours.

"Our main concern was to make sure that she was safe and we discovered that. [I] can't tell you where she is per [her] request. Anything that's going on at her residence is her business and her husband's business, I don't have any comments about that. But our case...we've done a little bit more interviewing with her, there is no criminal case to be filed against anyone. This case is now officially closed. Thank you."

Abed Suleiman, 32, did answer a phone call from a Daily Tribune News reporter, but declined to comment on the discovery of his wife of 14 years.

However, earlier in the week Suleiman said his wife's actions were "out of character."

The story began last Friday night when Suleiman reported his wife missing to Bartow County deputies.

Abed Suleiman had left earlier in the day for a hunting trip in Kentucky. Suleiman said he made it an hour north of Cartersville and realized the trip was the wrong weekend, so he turned around.

When he returned to his Law Road home around 9 p.m., his oldest son told him that his wife had gone to Walmart to rent a movie. The boy, who will be 13 in a few months, was left home with the four other children ages, 10, 11, 6 and 7.

There were no signs of Wazineh Suleiman until Tuesday morning when the 2004 Nissan Armada she was driving turned up in a parking lot in Acworth.

Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said a citizen called 911 around 7:30 to report the gray SUV in the parking lot of 1130 Highway 92. According to Baker, "Nothing suspicious was located." Bartow County took possession of the car for evidence.

National media quickly learned of the case. Millsap appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday announcing that Abed Suleiman was not a suspect in his wife's disappearance. He said the woman was considered an endangered person and he hoped that she simply "took a step back."

Meanwhile, Abed Suleiman appeared via telephone on the Nancy Grace Show with the sheriff. Suleiman told Grace that he spent nearly three hours being interviewed by detectives. He also addressed their financial problems. According to documents filed last August in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Suleimans face debt problems and filed Chapter 11.

Suleiman said he made bad real estate investments, buying two properties in Florida.

"I'm not the suspect. The more we harp on me we can't get to Wazineh," he told Grace.

Following Thursday's announcement of Suleiman being found "alive and well," it's still unclear where she was during the six-day search.

Bartow resident Talia McFadden called The Daily Tribune News Thursday to convey her relief that Suleiman has been located. "I'm glad she was found safe and alive."

She added that the community owes Abed Suleiman and his friend (Jason Seritt) an apology, but Wazineh Suleiman also needs to ask forgiveness. "She should apologize because a lot of people were concerned and looking for her."

-- Jessica Loeding contributed to this story