A column by Petula Dvorak in the Washington Post sheds some light on the case of Abi Maya Sarki, the Bhutanese refugee woman who disappeared in July from an apartment complex in Prince George’s County, outside Washington DC.
…Abi Maya Sarki, 24, vanished July 25 after working the night shift at a Riverdale Park McDonald’s, where she knew enough McEnglish to navigate her way through Quarter Pounders and meal-deal menus…
…There was no drama surrounding her work life. No one knew of a boyfriend or rowdy group of friends or a stalker. The woman with exquisite cheekbones, cappuccino skin and waist-long hair straight as silk threads was quiet and unassuming.
“Nothing. All of a sudden, she was just gone,” the manager said.
County police are investigating, although they haven’t found any evidence of foul play…
…The morning she was last seen, she was supposed to be heading to an appointment that she had made with her refugee case manager at the International Rescue Committee. She had her mobile phone with her but left behind her bank card, identity card and papers, purse, favorite clothes and about $800.
From that phone, she called her case manager and canceled the appointment. Then she called her sister, Oma, 21, and ostensibly lied, telling her that she was safely at the rescue committee’s office in Silver Spring.
And that was it.
“It was like she was freeing herself up that day to do something that, maybe, her family didn’t know about,” said Dulal, who has been an advocate for the family.
Since then, her phone has not been used. Her credit cards and the $1,000 in her Bank of America checking account haven’t been touched.
“We can’t imagine where she is. If she’s in a room where someone is holding her, where she can’t get to a phone,” Oma said with help from Dulal. “We just don’t know.”…
…“The detective is still pursuing any and all leads to the fullest,” Baxter said. “But right now, all of the signs are pointing the detective to believe that the missing person left all on her own.”
Bhin doesn’t believe her daughter would just leave them. “We had a good relationship, genuine,” she said.
Abi’s disappearance is huge news in the Bhutanese community.
“Even people in the camps in Nepal are hearing about this,” Dulal told me. “They are wondering about coming to America. This place where a woman can just disappear.” Read more here