Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Confessions of an Internet Suicide Chat Room Ghoul

The Rideau River

In the days and weeks after Nadia's disappearance, while the police theories leaned toward suicide, her family remained adamant that she had somehow been a victim of foul play.

"We've said it repeatedly, this is not her character," said Nadia's aunt, Candita Martens-Mills. "So much stuff doesn't mesh, doesn't fit... We know somebody knows something about her. You cannot just disappear like this."

Members of Nadia's family were critical of how the Ottawa Police Service were handling their loved one's disappearance, and traveled more than 300 miles from their home to take part in the search efforts. They also put up a $50,000 reward for her safe return. By the end of the first week with no sign of the girl, the search for Nadia was becoming desperate.

Nadia Kajouji
Nadia Kajouji

Three weeks later, on Saturday, April 19, 2008, after continuing ground search efforts greatly impeded by a three-foot blanket of snow that had fallen on Ottawa, a boater on the Rideau River found a young woman's body snagged on a rock in an area of the river that runs behind Saint Paul University. The area was only a few kilometers from Carleton University. According to Staff Sgt. Kal Ghadban of the Ottawa Police Service, there were no visible signs of trauma or foul play.

By the next day, friends and family members were convinced that the body pulled out of the river was Nadia's; a short time later positive identification was officially confirmed.

"Obviously... we were hoping for a different outcome," Martens-Mills said. "There is still a lot of unanswered stuff."

Amid the heartbreaking news that the body was that of their loved one, Nadia's family also learned that the teenager had been depressed prior to her disappearance and had informed medical personnel that she was suicidal.

"The medical staff knew, and they did nothing," Martens-Mills said. "They didn't monitor her, they didn't listen to her. It was just ridiculous how all this was handled."