Mother of Missing Des Moines Teen Praying for Signs of Hope

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DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s been days since a now weary Fadumo Ahmed last saw her 18-year-old son Abdullahi Sharif.

“Four days, never sleeping, never anything. Oh my God,” said Fadumo.

Abdullahi, who is often called “Abdi” by his family and friends, was last seen on surveillance video Friday night at Target inside Des Moines’ Merle Hay Mall.  It is a place he’s worked at for nearly two years.

“At that time we had a couple investigative leads that we thought looked pretty promising.  We thought we’d run those out, and unfortunately they didn’t go anywhere,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Investigators say Abdi’s cell phone is either off or disabled.  They say evidence shows Abdi spends time at three places almost exclusively: his job at Target, with family at home in Des Moines and at Roosevelt High School, where he is a senior.  Parizek said, “He had three numbers in his phone that he calls all the time. All family.”

One of Abdi’s teachers is Micheal Davenport, who has Abdi in a home room class.  “This is just out of character for him. He’s been an office helper the last couple semesters at Roosevelt. Everybody thinks the world of him and it’s so bizarre,” Davenport said.  It’s a feeling Abdi’s teachers hope will not last long.  “It’s just terrible. I can’t imagine how the family feels.  All the teachers and administrators feel helpless,” said Davenport.

While the surveillance video of Abdi seen Friday at Target is a starting point, police say what’s giving them the most problem is his lack of presence on social media. It’s something extremely rare for a teen in this digital age. “The troubling piece for us is there is nothing we can find in his background, at home or at school that would indicate he’s got any reason to take off or anything that he’s running with the wrong crowd. Nothing like that.”

Fadumo continues to pray for positivity and lights up when she talks about her missing son.  “Oh, I’m a mother,” she said.  She’s a mother who hopes the next person knocking on her door is her son Abdi.  “I hope, I hope,” Fadumo said.

Police say Abdi is about 5’4″ and weighs 120 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored winter coat, khaki-colored pants, and tennis shoes. If you have any information about his location or think you may have seen him, call 911.

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