12.28.07: For those of you who do not read comments and may not know this– there is evidence which indicates that Anu is alive:
Authorities from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department announced they believe Solanki has left the Chicago area with a friend of hers, and that she has gone willingly. [oh, snap]
I know we’re still shocked about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but there’s a story about another South Asian woman which deserves attention, in case any of you can help.
We’ve received several tips about a young woman who currently lives in Chicago, who has disappeared under what I think are extra-tragic circumstances. Anu Solanki is 24 years old and a newlywed from Virginia. The last time she was seen was when she was leaving her job at a hotel gift shop, on Monday, the 24th. A few miles from there…
Her car — which was still running with its doors unlocked– was found in a forest preserve parking lot late Monday afternoon.
Forest preserve police used divers to search the river in the Wheeling Forest Preserve on Wednesday, but said they would stay inside the boats on Thursday. [abc7chicago]
This is what makes my heart ache, why I wrote that this story had an extra element of tragedy:
Solanki’s husband said his wife may have gone to the river to place a broken statue of the Hindu deity Ganesh in the water, as they were told to do by a priest, to prevent bad luck. Authorities fear the woman slipped while placing the statue in the current. [abc7chicago]
“There is some concern at this point that this is a rapid current of the Des Plaines River, that it may be wise to check even further,” said Cook County Forest Preserve District spokesman Steve Mayberry. “Miss Solanki is a petite woman, and in fact, the current may have carried her further than initially believed.” [WBBM780]
Who among us hasn’t tried to do the “right” thing, on the advice of someone we trust, even if it seems superstitious? I’m just haunted by the mental picture I have of this girl earnestly, gingerly transporting this broken-but-sacred statue, on her way to the river.
While her slipping and falling while trying to do something respectful is awful enough, there’s the possibility of worse:
Police are checking the validity of a report that Solanki called a relative and said she was being watched, but then called back minutes later to say she was fine. [abc7chicago]
That report says she called a relative, this says she called a friend:
Dignesh Solanki says his wife spoke with a friend by cell phone that afternoon, telling her she was being followed by four men, then called back to say the men had disappeared. [WBBM780]
I hope she will be found soon. Chicago mutineers Neeraj and M, thank you for keeping us posted about this.