Algerian Man Discovered In Neighbor’s House—26 Years After He Disappeared

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Ennahar TV via Youtube
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Ennahar TV via Youtube

An Algerian man who disappeared 26 years ago has been found alive and yards away from his home after years of searching.

According to a story in The Sunday Times, Omar Bin Omran disappeared from his home in El Guedid, around 320km from the capital, Algiers, in 1998. It wasn’t until recently, when a Facebook post tipped off the village, that Bin Omran, now 45, was discovered being held captive, seemingly in plain sight, at a neighbor’s house a little more than 200 meters (650 feet) away.

The neighbor, and prime suspect in this case, is a shepherd 16 years Bin Omran’s senior, who had befriended him years earlier. As to why the shepherd, who remains anonymous, held Bin Omran captive so long is still unknown.

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In his late teens, the Times reported, Bin Omran left home, telling his parents he was travelling to the city of Djelfa, 45 miles away, for a vocational training program. They never saw him again.

A neighbor of both the shepherd and Bin Omran’s family believes that Bin Omran’s forced incarceration could have something to do with revenge for an arranged marriage plot gone awry. Others think “black magic” could be involved. Another idea bandied about is that the captor might be gay and was holding Bin Omran for “sexual purposes.”

In a surprising twist, Bin Omran’s whereabouts could’ve possibly been revealed earlier had villagers paid attention to his beloved dog, Rocky. According to Daniel, Rocky often went to and barked at the shepherd's home. The dog later vanished, which looks suspicious in retrospect.

Currently, the police have six suspects in custody, including the tipster, who is the sister of the shepherd and the bride in the arranged marriage.

Theories aside, Bin Omran is now a free man learning to reintegrate into 2024 Algeria. Bin Omran is reportedly reconnecting with old and new family and is learning to use a cell phone. However, he refuses to discuss details from his decades in captivity.

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