Real Name: DeFallah Al Salem
Aliases: DeFallah Mohammed, Al Salem, Danny Abraham
Wanted For: Abduction
Missing Since: September 21, 1988
Details: DeFallah Al-Salem is a defector from the Jordanian Army who came to the United States in April of 1980 and married Nancy Hardy of El Paso, Texas. In 1982, Nancy gave birth to a daughter that they named Shaffa Lucinda, which means "healing light". Starting at the age of one, Shaffa began competing in beauty pageants. However, the marriage between Nancy and DeFallah began to disintegrate by 1987 because of DeFallah's alleged angry and violent behavior. Nancy soon discovered that DeFallah had deserted the Jordanian Army; he had earlier told her that he was merely on a leave in the US. Also, DeFallah began spending more time with Middle Eastern friends that were believed to be involved in extremist political activities. Finally, Nancy had enough and she and DeFallah separated, but they remained friendly for the sake of their daughter.
On September 19, 1988, when Nancy left town to attend to her late father's estate, DeFallah agreed to take Nancy to the airport and have the housekeeper watch Shaffa while she was away. Around 1:30am the next day, DeFallah called Nancy's motel room to check on her, which he did again later that morning and also told her that he was going to take Shaffa to school. Nancy became suspicious and called DeFallah and the housekeeper several times but never got an answer. She finally called Shaffa's school only to learn that she had been on the absent list that day. Nancy soon learned that DeFallah had dismissed their housekeeper and bought two one way tickets to the Middle East. The local authorities and FBI investigated, but little could be done because DeFallah had left the country. Nancy began to search on her own for her husband and daughter. She put up some of her inheritance as a reward in order to get people to come forward to giver her information about her daughter. In January of 1992, Nancy met a man who claimed be a Lebanese newspaper reporter that had information regarding Shaffa. Nancy had a friend of hers watch the two of them from the parking lot, and she soon saw a station wagon circuling around the restaurant watching them. Meanwhile, the reporter told Nancy that DeFallah and Shaffa were in Lebanon and that he would fly her there to reunite with her daughter. However, he said that he needed $250,000 for the plan to work. He said he also wanted $250,000 after Shaffa is returned to Nancy. Nancy was able to stall with the man long enough to get the FBI involved, and ten days later, she met the man at an El Paso airport, but she also had and FBI agent secretly with her. The man claimed that he would get Nancy a phone call with Shaffa and also get a document that would allow Shaffa back into the United States, but that he needed the money first. Nancy refused to give money to the man, now believing that he was a con artist. The FBI was unable to determine if the man was actually a reporter, but believe that he knew nothing about Shaffa's whereaubouts. Then, in April of 1992, Nancy's close friends, Carolyn and Pat Mitchell were driving in El Paso when they had a strange encounter. First, a woman wearing an Islamic headdress drove past them, and then a man that they believed to be DeFallah passed them in a car right behind the first one. The Mitchells followed the car until it reached a house. The car then made a U-turn and quickly sped away. Nancy then began staking out that house along with the safe friend that had helped her earlier. A Black Monte Carlo was parked in the driveway, and although several people were seen going in and out of the house, they did not see DeFallah. Eventually, they decided to leave, but as they were leaving they were interecepted by the same Monte Carlo that was early in the driveway. As the two drove away, the car started chasing them at high speeds. They were able to soon lose the car that was following them. Although they did not see DeFallah, Nancy believes that he is still in El Paso and his friends were trying to scare her away. Nancy is desparate for any information about her daughter and still wants to find her.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 5, 1994 episode.
Results: Solved. In January of 1999, Shaffa Salem walked in the American Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, and told them that she was a missing person in the United States. The FBI was soon contacted and on February 14, 1999, Nancy was joyously reunited with her daughter Shaffa, now 16. Police at that time were trying decide if they could charge DeFallah Al-Salem, as he had shared custody of Shaffa and didn't technically break any laws when he took her. It is unknown if he has ever been charged in the case.