Sharjah: The family of a Jordanian boy who was found dead in Dubai after he was reported missing in Sharjah has denied that the suspect is known to them.
The man was a customer of the boy’s father who runs a car repair workshop and had met him only three weeks ago, the family said on Monday.
On Sunday, Dubai Police said the 48-year-old suspect identified as Jordanian Nidal Eissa Abdullah Abu Ali was the father’s friend.
The body of eight-year-old Obaida Ebrahim Sedqi was found in Al Warqa area on Sunday. Dubai Police said the suspect kidnapped the boy on Friday and took him to Al Mamzar area where he attempted to sexually assault him.
The boy was strangled to death after he resisted the attacker, the police said.
“We don’t know him. Only three weeks earlier, he had come as a customer to my husband’s workshop to get his car repaired. I did not feel comfortable about this man from the beginning and when my son disappeared, I felt he was the one behind his disappearence,” the boy’s distraught mother told Gulf News on Monday.
The boy’s father, Ebrahim Sedqi, runs a car repair workshop in Sharjah Industrial Area No. 8 from where the boy was reported missing on Friday.
Seeking death penalty for the suspect
The family said they do not want “diya” or blood money. Sedqi said he will accept nothing less than capital punishment for the murderer. “We hope he gets executed,” said the mother.
While announcing the details of the crime late Sunday night, the police said the suspect admitted killing the boy and confessed during interrogation that he killed the boy after attempting to sexually assault him.
He also told the police he had been drinking alcohol that night.
Recalling the last day with her son, the family said Obaida left the house on Friday afternoon to join his father in the workshop.
The family lives on the fourth floor of the building which also houses the workshop.
When the father returned home by 9.30pm, the mother asked him about Obaida. The father said he did not know [where their son was] and was expecting Obaida to be at home.
“I thought he must have gone home before me,” the father said.
The family then started searching for him by knocking at every door in the building and looked for him in the area.
The mother asked Sedqi to call the suspect because Obaid was last seen with him when the suspect had brought his vehicle earlier in the day to the area.
The vehicle was borrowed from the watchman of a building in Al Rolla where the suspect lived and the suspect invited the boy to watch a cartoon film inside the car which had an entertainment console.
On several occasions earlier, the suspect had told Obaid’s father that he wanted to buy a scooter for the boy. He repeated the offer on Friday. When the father declined the offer, the suspect told the police that he then invited the boy into his car, promising him to buy a scooter.
The suspect also had taken selfies with Obaida on several occasions, the mother said.
On Friday, when the boy disappeared, the parents tried to get in touch with the suspect but his phone was switched off.
Later, the suspect called the father back and denied knowledge of his son’s whereabouts. He told him he had returned from Ajman and was home with some women.
On Saturday morning, the father went to the suspect’s house in Al Rolla to enquire about Obaida. The suspect offered his help to search for the missing boy.
On Sunday morning, Dubai Police called the family and informed them that the boy’s body had been found in Al Warqa.
At around 8:30am, the father was called to a police station where he was shown a shoe worn by the boy in order to verify the identity of the child. Sedqi returned home but avoided breaking the news to his wife.
“But I knew that Obaida is no longer with us,” the mother said. “My son had been strangled and killed,” said grieving mother, describing the suspect as a “monster”.
The boy’s body was released on Monday afternoon and a funeral prayer was held at Al Sahaba mosque. He was buried in Sharjah cemetery.
A student of grade 2 at Al Jeel Al Jadeed Private School, Obaida was a smart boy, a relative said.
Eldest among three siblings — sisters Aya, 6 and Tala, 4 — he would always give directions to taxi drivers while returning home with his mother from mall visits, he added.
On Monday, the school posted a tribute on its Facebook: “With hearts faithful in God’s justice and strength. With grief and sadness, the Al Jeel Al Jadeed family offers its condolences to our school’s loss, the student Obaida Ebrahim Sedqi.”