Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Still hopeful of finding Sharlinie

“WITHOUT Nini around, our house has been quiet. She was always chattering about one thing or another. She had just learnt how to talk, you see,” the voice of the clearly anguished mother trails off quietly.

It has been almost eight months since Suraya Ahmad, 28, last saw her daughter Nini, or Sharlinie Mohd Nashar. Nini, five, went missing while playing at a playground about 200m from her house in Taman Datuk Harun in Petaling Jaya in January.

Although their hope of finding her is fading fast, her family vows to never give up looking for her.

The terrifying tale of a 13-year old abducted girl who saw a picture of Sharlinie in the van she was held captive in before she escaped could not shatter their hope in getting their daughter back.

It was reported that five men in a van tried to abduct the Form One student while she was waiting at a bus stop near Sungai Kapar Indah in Klang more than a week ago.

The girl claimed that besides seeing Sharlinie's photograph in the van, there were also pictures of other young girls, some with faces marked with an “X”.

“We don't know if we will see her again and many have even told us that they think it is too late, she is already gone. But until a body is found, we will still hope and search for her where we can,” says her uncle Yazrin Abdul Aziz.

Waiting with hope: Suraya looking through Sharlinie’s new clothes from last Hari Raya with her daughters Nurul Amirah (left) and Sharliena. The family still hopes for the safe return of their youngest member.

He says that his family, especially Sharlinie's father Mohd Nashar, still go out to look for the missing girl.

“Her father will follow any lead he gets. He’s mostly been to pasar malams, parks and other public areas. Sometimes we get worried about him. He was the closest to Sharlinie, so he is really taking it very hard.”

He adds that Mohd Nashar even travelled to Surabaya, Indonesia, last April in search of his missing daughter. However, like all previous leads, it had led to nowhere.

Yazrin says his brother-in-law has fallen into a worrying routine.

“Previously, when he comes home from work, he will play with Sharlinie and the whole house will be filled by her laughter and squeals. Now he comes home and sits quietly in the corner, deep in thought.”

That is why the family hopes that members of the public will not lead them on any wild goose chases.

“We appreciate all the help and leads that people have offered but we hope people can be considerate and verify the leads before informing us or the police. It is hard on us and we are especially worried about her father. We are scared because we can see that it is slowly eating him up. He loves her so much,” he says.

According to Yazrin, information on the hotline has frittered down and the last time the family heard anything from the police was over two months ago.

“We don't blame the police for not solving the case; we understand that they are doing the best they can. It is just sometimes hard to keep faith when we don't hear anything from them.”

Sharlinie's disappearance has definitely taken a toll on the whole family but for now, says Yazrin, they can only hope and pray that they will get to see her again.

“We all miss her. Her sisters, Sharliena (eight) and Nurul Amirah (11), sometimes ask why she does not want to come home. I don't know what to say,” says Suraya.

“We appeal to those who have her to return her to us safely. We appeal to the public not to forget about Sharlinie and still keep an eye out for her. Please help us find her.”

- Sunday Star

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