Rahma El-DENNAOUI

 

                                                                                                             Picture from The Daily Telegraph

 

Name: Rahma El-DENNAOUI
DOB: 2004
Date Missing: 10/11/2005 - 19 months old when missing
Missing from: Lurnea, Sydney

Circumstances of Disappearance:
The missing person lives with her parents and seven other siblings at  Lurnea. The missing person was last seen by her parents when she was put in her bed at 2am on Thursday 10 November. About six and half hours later (8.30am) it was discovered that the missing person was not in her bed. Her parents were unable to find the missing person inside the house and police were contacted at 9am.

Areas around the premises were searched without nil find.

If there is any information in regards to this missing person, please contact the NSW Missing Persons Unit on 1800 025 091, Strike Force KILT on (02) 9821 8558 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

 

Missing toddler 'upset'
By Edmund Tadros
November 10, 2005 - 5:00PM

Police will keep searching for missing Sydney toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui until nightfall, as her parents and seven siblings are moved to alternative accommodation.

A picture of the 19-month-old has just been released but police caution that photos of her are scarce and this one was taken 10 months ago.

The little girl now has blonde, shoulder length hair and is between 80 and 100 centimetres tall.

Police say they are still unsure whether Rahma has been abducted or wandered off.

Superintendent Mick Plotecki, of Liverpool Local Area, told reporters in Lurnea this afternoon: " At this stage we are unsure whether it is just simply a case she has wandered from the house or whether she has been abducted.''

He said Rahma was last seen by her parents - who have eight children - asleep in her bedroom with her five sisters in their single storey fibro home at Hill Road around 0200 AEDT.

She slept between two of her sisters - aged one and four - in a double bed under a sliding window, which police say was open. They also say a door in the house was unlocked.

Asked whether Rahma would have been able to climb out the window, Supt Plotecki said: "My understanding is that may well be the case.''

He said the parents had told police they had trouble getting Rahma to sleep last night as she had been upset.

The fly screen has a rip in it, which Supt Plotecki said would have been big enough for Rahma to get through, but it was unclear whether she could have got out herself or been pulled through.

He also said it was unclear how long the rip had been in the window.

A Polair helicopter, dog squad officers, the Vikings Unit, State Crime Command, and the SES are among those called in to search for Rahma, who was wearing pink satin Barbie pyjamas.

Supt Plotecki said it was too early to activate the statewide amber alert child abduction alarm, introduced earlier this year.

``At this point there is an indication that it's very localised,'' he said.

``It would be very unlikely that it was a random attack because of the fact that we're talking about a house where obviously somebody must have known something about the sleeping arrangements.

``The second thing is it's quite possible (she has) just gone for a wander in which case we can hopefully find her as quickly as we can.''


The family raised the alarm around 0900 AEDT after searching for her for an hour, say police.

Outside her bedroom window the yard, which is not fenced, is strewn with junk furniture and cardboard boxes.

Police are concentrating their search on the local showground and industrial area.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Liverpool Police on 02 9821 8444.

Toddler search: sex crime unit brought in
November 11, 2005 - 7:03AM SMH
Toddler gone without a trace

The search will resume this morning for a 19-month-old girl last seen sleeping in a bedroom at her south-western Sydney home.

Police fear toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui may have been abducted.

She was last seen by her parents sleeping at her Hill Road home at Lurnea about 2am (AEDT) yesterday.

Her parents and at least four of her sisters were sleeping in the same room.

Her family discovered she was missing about 8am and carried out an unsuccessful search before contacting police.

An extensive search was conducted yesterday, involving police, the dog squad, PolAir and state emergency service volunteers.

The sex crime squad has been called in to aid investigations.

Officers are treating the disappearance as an abduction after they discovered the flyscreen on a window above the girl's bed was torn.

The length of time that has passed since she was last seen, combined with her young age, were cause for great concern, said Liverpool area local commander Superintendent Mick Plotecki yesterday.

"We're still hoping the comprehensive searches we're doing are going to yield a result," Supt Plotecki said.

"But as that scenario starts to slim out, we've got to actually escalate this process and look at it from the point of view of it being an abduction."

The search for Rahma will resume about 9am today, with those involved searching bushland and creekbeds near the Hill Road home.

Police divers are also expected to search a dam near a motorway construction site about 1.5km from her house.

The toddler is described as being 80-100cm tall with a Middle Eastern appearance.

She has brown eyes and light brown hair, police said.

Rahma was last seen wearing pink satin pyjama bottoms with flowers on them and a pink, sleeveless cotton top with a Barbie motif.

Police are urging anyone with information regarding Rahma's disappearance to call triple-0 immediately.

Search to resume for missing toddler - Lurnea
11 November 2005

Police will resume the search this morning for a 19-month-old girl who was reported missing from her Lurnea home almost 24 hours ago.

Rahma el-Dennaoui's parents last saw the toddler about 2am yesterday sleeping in a bedroom of the Hill Road home with four other sisters. Her family, who discovered Rahma missing about 8am, carried out an unsuccessful search before contacting police shortly after 9am.

By 11pm yesterday a search spanning a 1.5km radius from the Hill Road home was completed, with no sign of Rahma being found.

The search was carried out by approximately 50 people, including officers from the Greater Metropolitan Region, OSG, Dog Squad and PolAir as well as State Emergency Services volunteers.

About 9am today, OSG officers and SES volunteers will return to the area to again search bushland and creekbeds. It is also expected police divers will carry out searches of a dam, which is near a motorway construction site about 1.5km from the Hill Road house.

Police have growing concerns for the safety and well being of Rahma due to her young age and are renewing their appeal for public help to locate.

She has been described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, 80-100cm tall, with brown eyes and light brown hair. When last seen, she was wearing pink satin pyjama bottoms with a flower pattern and a pink, sleeveless cotton top with a Barbie motif.

Detectives from the State Crime Command Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, Child Protection and Sex Crimes Squad and Liverpool Local Area Command are leading the investigation into Rahmas disappearance.

Detectives will today continue their canvass of the area and are urging anyone with information regarding Rahma's disappearance to contact police immediately via 000 or Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000.

By Tim Colquhoun - SMH
November 11, 2005 - 4:49PM

The father of missing Sydney toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui today appealed for help finding her.

"I'm missing my daughter," said Rahma 's father, Hosayn. "She's a beautiful girl. We worry about her - me, my wife, her brothers and her sisters."

"Please if anyone knows anything [contact] the police station"

"She never left home by herself [before]. This is the first time."

"If you know anything, if you see anything, [please] contact the police station. We'll be thankful."

The serious crime squad has been called in and some 30 officers are working on the investigation into the disappearance of the 19-month-old girl.

More officers are canvassing the area and divers searched a creek todayand drained a dam at the M7 construction site nearby.

Det Supt Peter Cotter, Serious Crime Squad commander, said the 19-month-old girl - last seen at 0200 AEDT yesterday - had a history of hiding behind wheelie bins in the yard but no history of running away from her home in Hill Road, Lurnea.

He said police had no motive for an abduction and that the parents had said Rahma had had difficulty sleeping on Wednesday night because of the heat.

"A number of items were siezed yesterday from the house, these included bedsheets, clothing and flyscreen," he said.

"It will take a little bit of scientific expertise to examine those items to determine exactly what might or might not have occurred yesterday."

He said there was no outward signs of foul play and police had a foot in either camp. Officers were checking the child protection register.

"We are treating it as a criminal investigation but also very mindful the disappearance could be completely innocent." he said.

There have been no reported sightings of the toddler since she disappeared.

Police believe that Rahma would have been more likely to have left the home through the back door than through the ripped fly screen.

They are not convinced she would have fitted through the flyscreen, which they think was probably torn before the toddler disappeared.

Supt. Michael Plotecki said: "It is extremely worrying at this point, given that it's 30 hours since she went missing."

Rahma is the second youngest of eight children - five girls and three boys - and Australian born, as is her father, who has been married 10 years and works in a local fruit market after spending most of his life in Lebanon.

Police are urging anyone with information regarding Rahma's disappearance to call triple-0 immediately.
Search for missing girl enters third day - Lurnea 12 November 2005

The search for missing toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui is set to enter its third day, with a renewed appeal from police for help from the public.

Up to 100 police, Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Services volunteers will take part in today's search, which is due to begin at 8am.

Searchers will again be focussing on creeks, marsh and scrubland in the vicinity of Rahma's Hill Road home in an attempt to locate the little girl.

Yesterday afternoon Rahma's father, Hosayn, spoke briefly about his "beautiful baby girl". He said the family was worried about their little girl who is one of eight children and urged any members of the public to come forward to police with information.

Rahma's parents last saw her about 2am on Thursday sleeping in a bedroom of the Hill Road, Lurnea, home with four other sisters. She was discovered missing by the family about 8am, with police being contacted shortly after 9am.

Strike Force Kilt has been set up to investigate the toddler's disappearance. The strike force comprises detectives from the State Crime Command Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, Child Protection and Sex Crimes Squad and Liverpool Local Area Command.

Police now hold grave concerns for the safety and well-being of Rahma due to her very young age and the time which has passed since she was last seen. Investigators are urging anyone who might have seen Rahma between 2am and 8am on Thursday, or witnessed any suspicious or unusual activity in the area that morning, to contact police.

Rahma has been described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, 80-100cm tall, with brown eyes and light brown hair. When last seen, she was wearing pink satin pyjama bottoms with a floral pattern and a pink, sleeveless cotton top with a Barbie doll motif.

Anyone with information about Rahma's disappearance is urged to contact police immediately via 000 or Crime Stoppers on 1 800 333 000.
Police extend search area, canvass of neighbourhood to continue - Lurnea 13 November 2005

Police are today extending their search for toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui, who was last seen in her Lurnea home in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Officers from the Operational Support Group (OSG) are expected to begin their search mid-morning, focussing on an area west of Liverpool Street to the Hume Highway.

Today\'s search will be an extension of the 4sq km area already scoured over the past three days by police and volunteers for signs of the 19-month-old girl.

Detectives attached to Strike Force Kilt will also spend the day revisiting a number of houses in the neighbourhood trying to speak with residents who had not been home over the past three days.

Investigators are keen to speak with anyone who might have seen or heard Rahma or a young child matching her description in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Rahma\'s parents last saw her about 2am on Thursday (10 November) sleeping in a bedroom of the Hill Road home with four other sisters. She was discovered missing by the family about 8am, with police being contacted shortly after 9am.

Rahma has been described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, 80-100cm tall, with brown eyes and light brown hair. When last seen, she was wearing pink satin pyjama bottoms with a floral pattern and a pink, sleeveless cotton top with a Barbie doll motif.

Strike Force Kilt comprises detectives from the State Crime Command Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, Child Protection and Sex Crimes Squad and Liverpool Local Area Command.

Anyone with information about Rahma\'s disappearance is urged to contact police immediately via Crime Stoppers on 1 800 333 000.
 

 

Major search for missing toddler
By Edmund Tadros
November 10, 2005 - 1:08PM

A police helicopter and dog squad officers are searching for a toddler who went missing from her Sydney home today.

Rahma el-Dennaoui, aged 19 months, was last seen by her parents asleep in her bedroom with her five sisters in Hill Road, Lurnea.

Her parents say she was wearing pink satin Barbie pyjamas.

Police say they found a rip in the fly-screen on the bedroom window but are unable to say how Rahma got out.

The family raised the alarm around 0900 AEDT after searching for her for an hour, say police.

Rahma is of Middle Eastern appearance with brown eyes and blonde, shoulder length hair. She is between 80 and 100 centimetres tall.

Police say they are treating the disappearance very seriously and officers from Liverpool LAC, Vikings Unit, Dog Squad , Polair and State Crime Command have been called in.

Any person with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Liverpool Police on 02 9821 8444.


No leads on missing toddler
From: AAP
November 12, 2005

THE distressed family of a missing 19-month-old girl were no closer to knowing whether she's been abducted or simply wandered off from her southwest Sydney home.

As police prepared to review the search for Rahma el-Dennaoui after three fruitless days, forensic tests have yet to be completed on a torn bedroom window flyscreen.
Police have been told by some of the toddler's seven siblings the flyscreen might have been damaged before Rahma's overnight disappearance from her home in Hill Road, Lurnea, on Thursday.

But in the absence of any other clues, the flyscreen remains central to the police investigation.

Rahma had been asleep on a double bed with two of her young sisters next to the flyscreened window when her parents last checked on her about 2am.

When the sisters awoke about 8am the toddler was gone.

The officer heading an intensive search, Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter, said yesterday that an unlocked back door may explain how Rahma was either taken or walked from the home.
But the focus of the investigation today returned to the torn flyscreen.

"It is at the forensic laboratory as we speak. We expect a proper examination of that to be completed on Monday," Det Supt Cotter said to Sky News.

"But it does appear that from what I've been told by the scientific officers who attended that scene that it is quite a large cut in the flyscreen.

"And from interviewing witnesses who live inside the house, that is mum and dad and the other siblings, it would appear to us it is a very recent cut."

Up to 100 police, Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service workers today continued their search of local creeks, marsh and scrubland.

Det Supt Cotter said police had been unable to find a single piece of evidence that might provide a clue as to what happened to Rahma.

He said the search will continue through to tomorrow, when officers will reassess the situation.

"We will be continuing, but of course, you can only go over the same ground so many times," he said.

"We are very satisfied that a very large area around the home has been very, very well searched and alas at this stage there is no joy on anything found or any sightings of the baby.

"We appeal to anyone who has any information at all to come forward.

"They might live next door to someone who doesn't have a baby who all of a sudden does have a baby ... anyone who has seen something different...".

"If it's an abduction, we would want to know whether it's someone with misplaced love, if it's an aggrieved family member, if it's someone with something very untoward on their minds. We're keeping an open mind."

Rahma is described as 80-100cm tall and of Middle Eastern appearance with brown eyes and light brown hair.

She was last seen wearing pink satin pyjama bottoms with a flower pattern, and a pink, sleeveless cotton top with a Barbie motif.

Divers join search for missing toddler
From: By Joe Hildebrand
November 14, 2005

POLICE divers will today begin searching creeks and marshland for Rahma El-Dannaoui amid fears the missing Lurnea toddler may have drowned.

But detectives are still examining whether someone cut through a flyscreen window to abduct Rahma in the night.
Forensic testing on the screen material is expected to produce a result as the search enters its fifth day.

The 19-month-old disappeared in the early hours of Thursday. Police have not established whether she was abducted or slipped out herself.

Although authorities hope to find Rahma alive, they are confronting the possibility she may have drowned.

"We're exploring every possibility, and that would be one of them," a NSW State Crime Command spokeswoman said.

Rahma was last seen about 2am on Thursday when, unable to sleep because of the heat, she was put to bed on a double bed between two of her sisters.
She was discovered missing by the family about 8am when her mother went to wake her.

The back door was open and there was a hole in the screen of the girls' bedroom window.

"From what I've been told by the scientific officers who attended that scene, it does appear there is quite a large cut in the flyscreen," Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter said.

"And from interviewing witnesses who live inside the house - mum, dad and the other siblings - it would appear to us it's a very recent cut."
Sex offenders in sights of police seeking girl
By Les Kennedy - SMH
November 14, 2005

At least 20 known or suspected sex offenders will be questioned and have their movements scrutinised by police investigating the disappearance of a 19-month-old girl from her parents' home near Liverpool.

Most have past convictions; others have been reported to police for alleged sex crimes that have not been proved. They all live at Lurnea, where Rahma el-Dennaoui went missing last week.

Police said yesterday that a further 40 known sex offenders had been identified from intelligence files as living in adjacent suburbs such as Casula.

Those living close to the girl's home in Hill Road have been given priority for questioning about their whereabouts between 2am last Thursday, when Rahma was last seen, and 8am, when she was found to be missing.

The list of people to be spoken to also includes some living in Hill Road and within a one-kilometre radius of the home of her parents, who have been absent during the past four days while police have canvassed neighbours for clues.

However, the Liverpool police commander, Superintendent Mick Plotecki, said although police would check movements of known sex offenders, it had still to be determined if Rahma had been abducted or had wandered off.

Sunday, November 13, 2005. 7:00pm (AEDT)
Expanded search fails to find missing toddler - ABC

There is still no sign of a 19-month-old girl who has been missing from the family's Lurnea home in Sydney's south-west since Thursday morning.

New South Wales police expanded the search on Sunday for Rahma El-Dennaoui beyond the four kilometre radius of the home, but have found no sign of the girl.

The search was been suspended and will resume on Monday morning.

Police divers will also be called in to comb a local waterway, Brick Makers Creek.
Probe into missing toddler continues
November 15, 2005 - 1:29PM - The Age

Police will continue doorknocking residents as investigations continue into the disappearance of 19-month-old Rahma el-Dennaoui from her Sydney home.

Rahma was last seen early on Thursday, asleep in the room she shared with her four sisters in their Lurnea home in the city's south-west.

A five-day land search for the child was called off on Monday and police divers found no sign of her in nearby creeks.

Police are still to establish whether Rahma was abducted or wandered off.

A spokeswoman said on Tuesday that police would continue to doorknock local residents and speak to Rahma's extended family.

They are also waiting on the results of forensic testing on a torn flyscreen in the girls' room.

"We're still exploring all possibilities for her disappearance and we haven't been able to determine with any confidence how she has gone missing," the spokeswoman said.

"They're obviously wanting to talk to all of their family members as well as their friends.

"They're also looking at what evidence they get back from all of their forensic testing.

"It (the investigation) is really only just getting going."

The spokeswoman said the family was very distressed and urged anyone with information to come forward.

"The children are very close, they all play together," the spokeswoman said.

"She is only 19-months-old and she would be missing her siblings as well."


Family of missing toddler reveals trauma
Lillian Saleh
15nov05 - Herald Sun

THE family of missing toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui yesterday broke their silence and told of the devastation of not knowing where she is.

Hosayn el-Dennaoui said his remaining seven children were having trouble sleeping since their 19-month-old sister vanished in the early hours of last Thursday from the family's Lurnea home, in western Sydney.
"My kids are scared. I can't send them to school because they're scared something will happen to them," Mr el-Dennaoui said of his children, aged between one and nine.

Rahma was upset by the heat and was having trouble sleeping until her father finally put her to bed at 2am.

She nestled on a double bed between two sisters, aged one and four, while another two sisters also shared the front bedroom.

Mr el-Dennaoui said his four-year-old daughter, who was sharing the bed with Rahma, had been uncharacteristically quiet.

"My four-year-old daughter, she can't sleep. I keep asking her, 'Did you see something? Did you hear something?', but she doesn't say anything," he said.

Police divers yesterday continued their search for the toddler, scouring a 3km stretch of creek bed and chest-deep marshes along Brickmakers Creek at Lurnea.

Three detectives from the State Crime Command yesterday re-interviewed Mr el-Dennaoui and his wife Alia for 45 minutes at their home, while detectives also interviewed Mr el-Dennaoui's brothers.

A police spokeswoman said there are no plans for additional searches, but the investigation into Rahma's vanishing will continue.

"We've always said we're looking for a breathing little girl, that's always been our hope -- that we will find her alive," she said.

She said detectives are still awaiting the results of forensic tests on a flyscreen, clothing and bed sheets taken from the house for examination.

"We still don't have a clear idea of how she's gone missing, whether it's been of her own accord or something more sinister."

Head of the SCC, Det Supt Peter Cotter said it was looking more feasible that Rahma may have left the house via a back door, which was unlocked, and not through the flyscreen.

The spokeswoman said no evidence has been found to implicate the family in Rahma's disappearance.

Rahma's uncle, who refused to be named, said the family remained baffled by her vanishing.

"We are just frustrated. We know as much as you do," he said.

He said the family had no enemies.

"If there was anything in our past the police would have found it by now," he said.
We didn't hurt her
November 17, 2005 - Daily Telegraph

THE family of toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui, who has been missing for a week, yesterday denied involvement in her disappearance.

During the desperate week-long hunt to find the missing 19-month-old, police have interviewed Rahma's parents, Hosayn and Alia, as well as members of their extended family.

The El-Dennaoui family yesterday tried to allay suspicions someone in her family was involved in her disappearance, saying they believe Rahma was kidnapped.

Rahma's distraught father Hosayn yesterday said they were extremely worried about Rahma and just wanted her back home.

Rahma's uncle, who did not wish to be named, denied anyone in the family was responsible for Rahma's disappearance, saying the close-knit family did not accept Rahma just wandered off.

"We are a very close family and no one would have done anything to hurt her. This has been very hard on all the family," the uncle said.

"She is very young and she just would not have walked off on her own. We don't believe that. We think someone has taken her."

Mr El-Dennaoui and his wife Alia remained inside their house yesterday.

With them were their other seven children -- aged from five months to nine years old.

Rahma's older siblings have been too traumatised to attend school.

Mrs El-Dennaoui was too distressed to speak and instead wept as she held her five-month-old son in her arms, burying her face into his neck to hide her tears from the other children.

Rahma was reported missing last Thursday from her Hill Rd home.

The search was called off after five days when no trace of Rahma was found in bushland or in nearby creeks.

She was sleeping under a window on a double bed between her two older sisters.

The flyscreen on the window was damaged.

It appears the large cut in the mesh - which is being tested - may not have been big enough for the toddler to fit through.

Police are waiting for the results of forensic tests on the flyscreen and bedsheets.

The back door of the house was also unlocked.

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad commander Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter yesterday told The Daily Telegraph there was no new information on Rahma's disappearance.

During the investigation, the house was forensically tested, family were questioned - including Rahma's sisters - and neighbours were interviewed.

"We are not ruling anything out," Superintendent Cotter said.

"If a girl's gone missing of her own will, at 19 months, maybe you think for the first couple of days you would have found her.

"But after five or six days your mind starts to wonder what's actually happened to her," he said.

Police will continue to doorknock residents and speak to Rahma's extended family.

Monday, November 21, 2005. 11:08am (AEDT)
Missing toddler possibly abducted, police say - ABC
Police say their investigation into the disappearance of a toddler from her family home in Sydney's south-west hinges on help from the public.

Rahma El-Dennaoui, who is 19-months-old, was last seen a week and a half ago when her father put her to bed in their Lurnea home.

Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter says it is now believed the child did not wander off but was abducted, because a search of the area failed to find her.

He says a possible motive is not known and the investigation is relying heavily on information from the public.

"The interest of the public now 10 days on is just as important as it was 10 days ago and I suppose we're relying on the fact that if she has been taken that maybe if anyone realises that there's a little baby next door where one wasn't 10 days ago, that would certainly be a very important lead for us."


She's been taken
By KATE MURRAY - Daily Telegraph
November 21, 2005

POLICE are now treating the disappearance of 19- month-old Rahma El-Dennaoui as an abduction.

Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter said while at first police considered the possibility she had wandered off, they now believed she had been taken. A motive for an abduction was unclear, he said.

Sheik in plea over missing toddler
By Eamonn Duff and Daniel Dasey
January 29, 2006

AUSTRALIA'S top Islamic cleric has added his voice to those appealing for information on the disappearance of Sydney toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui.

Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali yesterday called on anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of the 19-month-old to come forward and end her family's suffering.

Rahma disappeared from her family's Lurnea home on November 10 last year.

"The disappearance of [Rahma] is of grave concern," Sheik Alhilali said.

"I appeal to any person with a conscience to have compassion for the girl and her family and to deliver her to safety.

"I appeal to any person with any information to pass this information to the police.

"I have a genuine fear that this young girl may be the victim of an abduction."

A police spokeswoman yesterday said the investigation into the disappearance was continuing. Inquiries have centred on whether Rahma wandered away from her home unaided or was abducted.

To aid their investigation, earlier this month police staged a re-enactment of the night of Rahma's disappearance to see whether the toddler could have broken a damaged flyscreen herself.

Rahma vanished after being put to bed at 2am. Her mother discovered Rahma was missing the following morning.

A slashed bedroom flyscreen and an unlocked back door were the only clues.

Rahma's parents Hosayn and Alyaa el-Dennaoui have lived in their Lurnea home for two years with their eight children, aged between five months and nine years. Rahma is the second youngest.

Police have previously said the family are not regarded as suspects.

Source: The Sun-Herald

New lead offers hope for heartbroken parents of missing toddler
John Kidman - SMH
November 5, 2006

NSW POLICE are on the verge of announcing a potential lead in the case of missing toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui, on the first anniversary of her disappearance from her western Sydney home.

Sources close to investigations say detectives have continued to work tirelessly on the case.

"While it doesn't look like much is happening, they haven't let it go," one officer said. "It's been full-on.

"It's just that they need one or more people to come forward with certain information before they can take it any further."

The 2½-year-old's heart-broken parents Alyaa and Hosayn have been told police will launch a renewed public appeal for help this week in a bid to trigger the conscience of anyone who knows anything about the abduction.

The second-youngest of the family's eight children at the time, Rahma vanished in the early hours of November 10 last year.

She was last seen when Mr el-Dennaoui carried her from the air-conditioned lounge room of their weatherboard house at Lurnea and placed her in the double bed she shared with her sisters around 2am.

Police are convinced a tear in the flyscreen of the bedroom was made by her abductor. Forensic tests indicated the damage was both recent and deliberate.

A five-day search was launched immediately the disappearance was reported, 6½ hours later.

Strike Force Kilt officers later revealed they had also contacted both the FBI and Interpol.

Mrs el-Dennaoui has since given birth to the couple's ninth child.

One year since toddler’s disappearance, detectives re-new appeal for information
9 November 2006

Twelve months ago today the el-Dennaoui family spent what turned out to be their last moments with their youngest daughter and sister, Rahma.

In the early hours of the morning on the following day, the sleeping toddler was removed from the bed she shared with two sisters in the family’s Hill Road, Lurnea, home.

Rahma’s family discovered the 19-month-old girl was missing about 8am on Thursday 10 November, with police launching an intensive land and air search.

No sign was found of Rahma and exhaustive inquiries by detectives attached to Strike Force Kilt have so far failed to locate her.

Rahma, who would now be aged two-and-a-half years, had shoulder-length brown hair at the time of her disappearance and was wearing a pink sleeveless pyjama top with a “Barbie” pattern on the front and pink pyjama pants.

Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter, State Crime Command Robbery and Serious Crime Squad Commander, said police believed she had been kidnapped.

“During the investigation it has become clear that someone made a deliberate cut in the fly screen which covered the bedroom’s open window,” Detective Superintendent Cotter said. “Rahma was then removed from the bed she was sharing with two of her sisters.

“This has been an intensive investigation which has been led by a team of detectives dedicated to finding out what happened to Rahma after she was taken. They are continuing their work, but there is one message I want to get across to the community.

“There will be someone who knows, or thinks they know, the identity of the person who removed this innocent little girl from her family. It is not too late to come forward with that information.

“This family is desperate for news – any news – which will lead us to Rahma and we urge any members of the public who have information which might help us solve this mystery, to contact police,” Detective Superintendent Cotter said.

“I want to reassure all members of the community who contact police that they can remain anonymous. Arabic-speaking interpreters are also available to take any information people might have for police,” he said.

Rahma’s father, Hosayn, today described the sadness which has gripped the family this past year.

“My wife, Alyaa and I have nine children, but for a year there has been one missing.

“Every day we think about Rahma and worry and wonder about what has happened to her.

“My last memories of Rahma are of kissing her as I put her to bed in the early hours of that hot morning 12 months ago.

“On the Wednesday afternoon before she went missing, after her brothers and sisters came home from school, Rahma had helped them tidy up. She was happy and they were playing together outside.

“Our children talk about Rahma all the time and some of the older children have written to her. There is so much she has missed, including the birth of a new brother.


“The past 12 months have been very hard for my family and we ask anyone who knows where Rahma is and who kidnapped her, to tell police,” he said.

Any members of the community who have information about Rahma’s disappearance are urged to contact detectives via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

Two years on and detectives continue to investigate toddler's abduction

 9 November 2007

 Tomorrow marks two years since the abduction of toddler Rahma el-Dennaoui from her home in Sydney’s south-west, and detectives continue their hunt for the little girl.

Rahma’s family discovered the 19-month-old girl was missing about 8am on Thursday 10 November 2005, with police launching an intensive land and air search.

Detectives believe that in the early hours of that morning the sleeping toddler was removed from the bed she shared with two sisters in the family’s home in Hill Road, Lurnea.

Deliberate cuts were made in the fly screen, which covered the open bedroom window, to create a flap large enough to allow a person to reach into the room.

At the time of her disappearance Rahma had shoulder-length brown hair and was wearing a pink sleeveless pyjama top with a “Barbie” pattern on the front and pink pyjama pants.

Two years on and Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives attached to Strike Force Kilt are continuing their work into the abduction.

Exhaustive inquiries have been conducted in New South Wales, around Australia and even overseas with the assistance of Interpol and authorities in Lebanon.

While strike force inquiries are ongoing, there has been little new information received which sheds light on why Rahma was abducted, where she might be and who is responsible for her disappearance.

It is not too late for members of the community with information about Rahma’s abduction to contact police.

Any members of the community who have information about Rahma’s disappearance are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously.

 

$100k reward to solve toddler abduction

Posted 6 hours 34 minutes ago July 31st 2008 - ABC

A $100,000 reward has been posted in the hope of solving the abduction of Sydney toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui.

The 19-month-old was taken from her Lurnea home early on November 10, 2005.

Police still do not know who took her, despite numerous inquiries.

The NSW Government says the reward is also being publicised through an internationally syndicated television crime program, which could lead to fresh information from Lebanon.

Acting Police Minister Kristina Keneally hopes the new push will solve the abduction.

"Rahma's family have been devastated by this tragedy and someone - either in Australia or possibly in Lebanon where the El-Dennaoui family is from - must know who kidnapped her," she said.

"The family deserve answers but the police need the public's help to locate Rahma and solve this mystery."

Sisters cry for baby Rahma

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

By Gemma Jones

August 26, 2008 12:00am

WITH their simple words the siblings of Sydney's abducted baby, Rahma El-Dennaoui have captured the horror of her disappearance better than any adult could.

They have spent almost three years tearfully composing letters to Rahma, updating her on additions to the family, telling her of their tears and expressing their desperate hope she will come home.

Rahma's parents Hosayn and Alyaa have released the letters the children have sent to their daughter, who was snatched from her bed at the family's Lurnea home on November 10, 2005.

"To Rahma, I really miss you and so does my family. Rahma the first day you got lost all my family were crying and never stopped," big sister Lina, 10 wrote. "We really want you back nice and safe at our home . . . but we don't know where you are."

Lina has drawn herself holding Rahma's hand, who is drawn looking older than 19 months - the age when she was snatched.

She wrote to Rahma with the exciting news they had a new sister born in March.

"If you didn't know we have a new baby girl as well," she wrote.Eleven-year-old sister Safa wrote: "The last time I saw you . . . we were having so much fun. I remember we had to go to sleep because we had school. In the morning you weren't there."

On Rahma's last night with her family she was in the backyard with her older siblings until about 7pm.

Mr El-Dennaoui said he was grateful Rahma's abduction was again in the news after the story appeared on the front page of yesterday's The Daily Telegraph.

He said his daughters Marwa, 12, Safa, Lina and sons Mostapha, 9 and Mohamed, 7, have clear memories of Rahma and the traumatic aftermath of her abduction.

"Always from the time she was missing, they wake up in the night time and cry, the old one, she screams and cries," Mr El-Dennaoui said.

To Rahma's abductors, Mr El-Dennaoui said: "I need them to give me back my daughter. I love all my children(but) I love Rahma more than my other children not because she is Rahma but because she is missing."

 

Someone out there knows where she is

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

By Gemma Jones

August 25, 2008 12:00am

THE El-Dennaouis woke up to every parent's worst nightmare three years ago and their community in southwest Sydney was forever changed.

Rahma's mother Alyaa and father Hosayn put her to bed and her father saw her for the last time at 2am in their home in Hill Rd, Lurnea, on November 10, 2005.

Like the rest of the community, they have been anguishing ever since about who took her.

Then 19 months old, Rahma was sleeping between sisters Mina, now six and a younger sister, when someone slashed the fly screen on the bedroom window and snatched her.

"At the start it was ruled out that she hadn't just walked out, the fly screen was cut in a deliberate attempt to take her out that window," Detective Senior-Constable Nick Sedgwick told The Daily Telegraph.

By the end of the first day, Sen-Constable Sedgwick and a team of colleagues from the robbery and serious crimes squad, which investigates abductions, had taken over the case from Liverpool detectives.

SES volunteers joined police to scour bins, and creeks were searched.

"We always hold out hope we will find her alive and one strong line of inquiry is that she is still alive but we also have to consider she may not be alive, that line has to be investigated," Sen-Constable Sedgwick said.

"I think it is likely a person in the community knows where Rahma is or what has happened to her and for whatever reason they haven't come forward. That was a big factor in offering the $100,000 reward."

Last week the traumatic impact Rahma's abduction had on the community of Lurnea, where the El-Dennaouis are a popular family, was still evident.

"I have one boy and one girl and I am very worried about them, I put a camera on my house because this has happened to one of my customers," Hill Rd fruit shop worker John Maurwad said.

"I know Rahma's mum and dad, they are beautiful people."

Hill Rd Chicken shop worker Lina Madrajat said she had been seeking answers to the haunting mystery.

"You always asked the customers what happened and . . . nothing. It is really sad. No one knows anything about it, I can't believe it," she said.

Sen-Constable Sedgwick said disappointment accompanied the ruling out of leads in his search for Rahma.

"There is a possibility we may not find out what happened and I worry how the family will feel if this mystery is never answered," he said.

What happened to missing toddler baby Rahma El-Dennaoui?

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

Exclusive, by Gemma Jones

August 25, 2008 12:00am

HORRIFYING new scenarios have emerged in the police investigation into the abduction mystery of Sydney toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui.

In their most revealing interview, Rahma's parents told of their torment over their girl's disappearance, as police revealed that a distinctive birth mark on Rahma's left shoulder could be the key to finding her.

Police now believe Rahma was taken by a paedophile, murdered or, in the most hopeful scenario canvassed, taken by a childless person.

As with the mystery of missing British child Madeleine McCann, Rahma's heartbroken parents, Hosayn, 36 and Alyaa, 32 told The Daily Telegraph of their desperation to find their daughter alive.

To ensure that her name is never lost, the El-Dennaouis named their 10th child, born in March, Rahma.

The couple also released their precious albums of their smiling baby who was snatched from her bed on November 10, 2005.

"She comes into my mind, I think about her," Mr El-Dennaoui said.

"In dreams and in my waking, I can tell you how she is growing older, what she looks like now. I can see she is still with us, I don't want to believe she is gone."

"I have 10 children and one of them is missing, you don't know if she is alive or where she is. I feel she is close to me but where, I can't tell you. I feel like she is coming home any time."

The family described their once normal life and memories of Rahma, her first steps at seven months, her favourite words - mummy and daddy and 'oh no' in Arabic - as well as her fascination with flowers. Motioning to the lounge opposite, an emotional Mr El-Dennaoui said: "She went from there to here and I was saying 'Come on Rahma, Come on Rahma and she came to me'.

"If you missed her for five minutes she would be playing in the flowers."

Rahma would be the first at the door to greet guests and she had discarded her own dummy after her baby brother Mahmoud was born in May 2005 but would cheekily steal his.

"He would start to cry, we looked and she had taken his dummy, I said to her'Rahma, have you seen your brother's dummy? in Arabic and she would answer in English No!'," Mr El-Dennaoui recalled.

"She was interested in everyone who visited."

Alyaa said of her pain: "If you have a baby, you can feel it. You know how much you love your son and your daughter and how much you love your children and (to have them) next to you."

 

$250,000 reward announced ahead of Inquest into toddler’s disappearance – Strike Force Kilt #sfkilt

by NSW Police Force on Tuesday, 3 April 2012 at 19:42 ·
 
Detectives investigating the disappearance of Sydney toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui have welcomed an increased reward – from $100,000 to $250,000 – announced by the NSW Government.

 An Inquest into the disappearance of the 19-month-old girl from her south-western Sydney home in 2005 begins on Tuesday 10 April 2012, and police hope the higher reward might encourage someone to come forward.

 Rahma’s family discovered she was missing about 8am on Thursday 10 November 2005, with police launching an intensive land and air search.

 The girl's parents told police that in the early hours of that morning the sleeping toddler was removed from the bed she was sharing with two sisters in the family’s home in Hill Road, Lurnea.

 Deliberate cuts had been made in the fly screen on the open bedroom window to create a flap large enough to allow a person to reach into the room.

 The Homicide Squad has been continuing investigations into Rahma’s disappearance under Strike Force Kilt.

 Commander of the Homicide Squad, Detective Superintendent Michael Willing, said detectives had never given up trying to find out what happened to young Rahma.

 “This has been a protracted and extensive investigation, but almost seven years after the incident, detectives have found few clues to solve this case,” Detective Superintendent Willing said.

 “We believe Rahma disappeared from the family home, but how and why remains a mystery.

 “There is someone out there who knows what happened to Rahma, and I hope the $250,000 reward will encourage them to provide that detail to police.”

 Det Supt Willing said that whilst the Homicide Squad was investigating the matter, it was not yet known whether Rahma was alive or not.

 “That will be a matter for the Coroner to decide,” he said.

“But to anyone who can shed light on this mystery, I urge them to come forward.”

 Anyone who can provide assistance to police should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Callers can remain anonymous if they wish.

 

Missing toddler reward increased

Lisa Davies- SMH
April 3, 2012 - 7:19PM

A reward for information about the abduction mystery of Sydney toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui has been increased to $250,000 on the eve of an inquest into her disappearance seven years ago.

The 19-month-old girl vanished from her family’s south-west Sydney home without a trace on Thursday November 10, 2005.

Rahma’s family discovered her missing at about 8am that morning, telling police the sleeping child was removed from the bed she was sharing with two sisters in the family’s home in Hill Road, Lurnea.

Police launched an intensive land and air search after discovering deliberate cuts had been made in the fly screen on the open bedroom window to create a flap large enough to allow a person to reach into the room.

The police canvass included the draining of every backyard pool and creek in a 1.5km radius.

But with an inquest into the child’s disappearance due to begin on Tuesday, Homicide Squad commander Michael Willing welcomed the increased reward by the NSW government.

He said police have never given up trying to find out what happened to young Rahma.

“This has been a protracted and extensive investigation, but almost seven years after the incident, detectives have found few clues to solve this case,” Superintendent Willing said.

“We believe Rahma disappeared from the family home, but how and why remains a mystery.

“There is someone out there who knows what happened to Rahma, and I hope the $250,000 reward will encourage them to provide that detail to police.”

Superintendent Willing said that whilst the Homicide Squad was investigating the matter, it was not yet known whether Rahma was alive or not.

“That will be a matter for the Coroner to decide,” he said.

“But to anyone who can shed light on this mystery, I urge them to come forward.”

The Homicide Squad’s Strike Force Kilt has investigated Rahma’s disappearance, exploring dozens of theories - including that she was taken by a paedophile, murdered or, in the most hopeful scenario canvassed, taken by a childless person and smuggled out of the country on a false passport.

Detectives have previously told the Herald  there is reason to believe Rahma is alive and living overseas, one of 3,000 young girls who flew out of Australia that week and have not returned.

International inquiries focused on Lebanon, with several interviews conducted in Rahma’s parent’s home villages and with their extended family.

However police have previously been adamant there was nothing to suggest any of Rahma’s family in Sydney or abroad was involved.


 

A desperate father still searching for answers over his little girl lost

IT is a family's last hope. Almost seven years after toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui disappeared from her home, her father hopes an increased reward of $250,000, and a coronial inquest, may finally provide some answers.

As detectives went to Hosayn El-Dennaoui's Ashcroft home to tell him of the new reward yesterday, he said he hoped it would be enough for someone who knows where his daughter is to speak up.

Rahma's disappearance has puzzled police since the 19-month-old went missing from the family's Lurnea home in the early hours of November 10, 2005.

A coroner will next week examine the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, and look at police scenarios, including that Rahma was taken by a paedophile, murdered or kidnapped by a childless couple.

A more recent police line of inquiry, that Rahma was smuggled out of the country and sold overseas, will also be explored, a theory which Mr El-Dennaoui struggles with as much as all the others.

"I have no answers, none. I don't have any idea what happened ... it is all bad to me, every one of the possibilities," he said. "We just want her back, or want to know what happened. If you came here now with my daughter's body in your arms, at least I would know what happened to her."

The baby girl was asleep in a double bed, alongside her two sisters, in the front room of the Hill Rd home.

Mr El-Dennaoui checked on the restless girl at 2am but, when he returned to the bedroom at 8am, she was gone.

Tests revealed the flyscreen on the bedroom window had been cut from the outside.

Phone call link to missing Rahma mystery

Nick Ralston - SMH
April 10, 2012 - 12:55PM
 

A telephone conversation between Sydney and Lebanon the night before baby Rahma El-Dennaoui was reported missing from her Sydney home may have had a bearing on her disappearance, an inquest has heard.

A two-week coronial inquiry has this morning begun into the disappearance and possible death of the 21-month-year old, who vanished from her home in Lurnea in November 2005.

Rahma was put to bed in a room she shared with her four sisters at 2am on November 10.

Her father, Hosayn El-Dennaoui reported her missing to police when the family awoke the next morning.

The flyscreen under which Rahma had slept had been torn or cut, leaving a hole big enough for a child to have been lifted through.

The Coroner's Court at Glebe was told this morning there was no evidence to suggest Rahma has been seen since she was put to bed that night.

In her opening remarks, Deputy State Coroner Sharon Freund said the disappearance was "what I can only describe as every parent's worst nightmare".

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Robert Bromwich, SC, said there were a range of possibilities about what might have occurred to the toddler.

"The function of the inquest is to examine and explore, within reason, the full range of possibilities as to what happened to Rahma, ranging from her being alive and abducted to be part of another family, to having met with foul play," he said.

Together with providing answers to her family, it was also important for the community to know what occurred, especially if this was another case similar to the tragic death of Daniel Morcombe in Queensland, Mr Bromwich said.

Police have made inquiries in Lebanon as to the possibility Rahma may have been taken there.

Inquires were also made with the Department of Immigration and airports but have so far not provided any strong leads.

Mr Bromwich said the inquiry would hear details about a telephone conversation made the night before the child went missing "which may have predicted or commented on her imminent disappearance".

"The phone call may have amounted to some prediction of the disappearance of Rahma," he said.

The inquiry is yet to hear who the conversation was between.

Rahma's mother, Alyaa El-Dennaoui, will give evidence before the inquiry this afternoon.

Rahma El-Dennaoui's sister saw a long-haired 'monster' the night she disappeared, inquest hears

MISSING toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui may have accidentally swallowed an ecstasy tablet triggering a heated argument in her house the night before she disappeared, an inquest heard today.

Glebe Coroner's Court this afternoon heard explosive allegations that the 20-month-old's father was a "well-known drug dealer" in the family's Lurnea neighbourhood.

Rahma disappeared from the family home on the morning of November 10, 2005 after she was laid to sleep in the queen bed she shared with two older sisters at about 2am.

Counsel assisting the inquest Peggy Dwyer this afternoon said police had received information from within the community that Rahma's father Hosayn El-Dennaoui was selling drugs.

She said the same source had told police there had been an argument about Rahma accidentally swallowing an ecstasy tablet the night before the toddler went missing.

But Rahma's mother Alyaa El-Dennaoui, speaking through an interpreter, denied that her husband was a drug dealer and said there had been no argument in the house that night.

"Let them bring the person who he sells drugs to me, let me see. (Hosayn) is 24 hours with me," she said.

"Do you know anything about Rahma swallowing an ecstasy tablet?," Dr Dwyer asked.

"No," Mrs El-Dennaoui replied.

Mr El-Dennaoui has not been identified as a person of interest at the inquest. He will give evidence this afternoon.

Dr Dwyer said Mrs El-Dennaoui's brother-in-law Mourad Dennaoui had told police there were rumours one of Rahma's childless uncles had kidnapped the toddler.

The court heard several of both parents' brothers lived in Lebanon at the time of the abduction, with one now living in Saudi Arabia.

"Do you think it's possible that someone in your extended family arranged for Rahma to be taken from your house?," Dr Dwyer asked.

"For sure, whoever took Rahma, he planned to take Rahma," Mrs El-Dennaoui said.

The court earlier heard a long-haired "monster" in a child's dream could have been the only sighting of the person who abducted Rahma more than six years ago.

The inquest into her disappearance this morning heard one of the girl's sisters, three-year-old Mena, told police she had seen something the night Rahma was last seen alive.

In an interview seven months later, she said: "I was awake and I saw the thief, but he didn't take me. The thief had long hair."

Mrs El-Dennaoui told the court she didn't know anyone who fitted the description or what her daughter may have meant when she said the man "didn't have hands".

"She was like a child, three years old, I don't know what she meant, maybe it was like a dream," she said.

"I think Hosayn told me that she saw a monster (that night) in her dream."

A gaping hole, large enough for a child to be lifted through, was found cut in the flyscreen above the bed with a sharp knife when Rahma's siblings woke to discover their sister missing.

No sign of the young girl, who would now be eight, has been seen since and police have been unable to identify any clear suspects in the abduction and possible murder.

Mrs El-Dennaoui broke down in tears as she described the first, horrific moment she realised something was wrong that morning.

She said she noticed her 20-month-old daughter was missing when several of her then eight children woke her at about 7.30am.

"More than one (of my children) said she's still asleep," she said.

"I felt my heart tighten ... because usually she didn't stay asleep as that particular time and she didn't come to my bed (that morning)."

"Every time I remember that particular time, all my body is shaking."

Rahma's parents and siblings began a frantic search of the house, checking under beds and in cupboards for the missing girl, but she she was nowhere to be found.

Mrs El-Dennaoui then noticed the torn flyscreen in her daughter's bedroom window for the first time.

"I wasn't calm, I was behaving like crazy, I knew that someone cut the flyscreen. Hosayn was crying, sitting crying," she said.

The inquest continues this afternoon.


 

Aunt of missing toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui thought she heard a baby crying 'mama'

AN aunt of missing toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui thought she heard her niece crying outside her house a few days after the young girl disappeared but did not investigate the distressing sound, an inquest heard today.

Glebe Coroner's Court was told Rouba Dennaoui, who lived not far from her niece's Lurnea home, heard a "deep cry" coming from the direction of a vacant property next to her house not long after Rahma vanished.

"I could hear the crying from somewhere in the street, it was really, really close to me," she said.

"Really clear, I can hear it really clear. I can hear the baby saying 'mama'."

Rahma disappeared from her bedroom early on November 10, 2005 after she was put to bed at about 2am.

The flyscreen above the queen bed the toddler shared with two sisters was found cut when Rahma's siblings discovered her missing at about 8.30am.

Mrs Dennaoui said she thought the crying was from a baby about Rahma's age and it sounded like the child was hurt.

Counsel assisting the coroner Peggy Dwyer asked if she thought the crying child was Rahma.

"Might be," Mrs Dennaoui replied.

But she said she ran back into her house and couldn't remember telling her husband or Rahma's mother Alyaa El-Dennaoui, who she described as a good friend, about the crying.

The inquest continues this afternoon.

Missing toddler: Rahma's last moments with father

 

THE father of a toddler who vanished from her Lurnea home in 2005 has broken down while recalling the final time he held his daughter in his arms.

Rahma El Dennaoui was taken from her home in Lurnea in Sydney’s southwest in the early hours of November 10, 2005.

The 20-month-old had been sleeping alongside her sisters in the front of the house.

Police found cuts to a flyscreen window, big enough for a toddler to be lifted through.

In giving evidence at Glebe Coroner’s Court on Thursday the toddler’s father, Hosayn El Dennaoui, wept as he recalled picking his sleeping daughter up from a couch in the family’s living room and carrying her into her bedroom.

Mr El Dennaoui told the inquest he put the toddler to bed on a queen-size mattress between two of her sisters directly underneath an open sliding glass window covered by a fly screen.

“I put her down but nothing happened, nothing happened,” he said.

He also said there had been five visitors to the house on the day before Rahma vanished, including cousins and a man who had travelled from Newcastle to Lurnea to buy tobacco.

The inquest has previously been told that Mr El Dennaoui is said to be a well-known local drug dealer.

 

Sex crime link to lost child Rahma El-Dennaoui

 

A SUSPECTED paedophile who lived within a short distance of Rahma El-Dennaoui had only his frail and elderly mother for an alibi on the night the toddler went missing nearly seven years ago, an inquest heard yesterday.

But the father of six, who can't be named for legal reasons, denied having any involvement in the young girl's disappearance, telling Glebe Coroner's Court he had been asleep at home when the 20-month-old vanished.

The coroner heard police identified 19 "potential suspects" in the November, 2005, disappearance after scanning the child protection register for the area around her family's Lurnea home.

Counsel assisting the coroner Robert Bromwich SC said two of those identified gave "slightly higher" cause for suspicion and these men had been called to the inquest to explore another possible side to the investigation.

The inquest has recently examined the theory Rahma's apparent abduction through a bedroom window was staged and that her family hid information about her death.

One of the suspects, who lived close to the El-Dennaoui family with his mother, had twice been accused of abusing young girls - one the nine-year-old daughter of a neighbour - although the charges had been dismissed in court.

He was also suspected in 2004 of trying to entice children into his car at a local primary school.

Under a lengthy cross-examination from David Evenden, representing Rahma's father Hosayn El-Dennaoui, the man said the previous allegations were false.

He said he "didn't take any notice" of the El-Dennaoui children when he drove past their home and he "watched TV and then went to sleep" on the night of the toddler's disappearance.

The inquest heard the man kept a caravan on a vacant property he owned in a nearby suburb and he had reconnected power to the site a few months before Rahma vanished.

He had previously had no electricity at the property for about five years.

The man suddenly deposited $65,000 into his bank account about a week after Rahma disappeared and has called another suspected paedophile on the morning she was last seen.

But yesterday he said the funds were from the sale of four motorbikes and he had called his associate in the morning because the man owed him money for a truck.

"I'm not sure if I did reconnect (the power on my land)," he said.

"I decided to get the caravan for the kids and to get away from mum ... she won't leave me alone."

The inquest continues today.