Rahma El-Dennaoui, who was merely 18 months old at the time, vanished from her parents’ abode in Lurnea, Sydney, on November 10, 2005. Despite extensive and arduous searches, her trace eluded discovery.
“On November 9, 2005, Rahma slumbered amidst her sisters on a double bed, nestled under the moonlit window. The sweltering heat disrupted her sleep, prompting her father’s vigilant 2 a.m. check. However, when he returned at 8 a.m., she had disappeared as if into thin air.”
Rahma managed to slip through a hole in the flyscreen, and her older sister recounted witnessing a “handless figure” taking her away.
It was whispered that Rahma’s father had ties to the drug trade. Moreover, a neighbor overheard a heated altercation between Rahma’s parents after their little one accidentally ingested an ecstasy tablet. Such revelations surfaced during an inquest.
When a photograph emerged, it depicted Rahma at the tender age of 8 months, an inexplicable and peculiar choice. “Police caution that few images of her exist, and this one was captured a decade ago.”
Theories abound, suggesting that Rahma may have unintentionally ingested an Ecstasy tablet, leading to her demise, and her parents sought to conceal the truth of her passing. After her mysterious disappearance, recordings captured her parents conversing in coded language about the event and the ensuing investigation.
During the inquest, some claimed to have heard someone insinuating that Rahma’s father had unintentionally caused her demise and buried her on a relative’s rural estate.
Other notions posited that she fell victim to a known sex offender in the vicinity or that she was taken to Lebanon and could still be residing there.
The Coroner’s reflections: The coroner firmly believed that Rahma El-Dennaoui did not simply vanish into oblivion.
While the notion of a stranger abducting her and raising her as their own found little favor with the coroner, she did not entirely dismiss the possibility of someone taking the child and raising her as their own.
The coroner also acknowledged that “no definitive evidence” supported the hypothesis that the 19-month-old had been subjected to a staged kidnapping. Nonetheless, she pointed out “troubling” aspects of their account, with intercepted phone conversations revealing “bewildering” behavior from a family expected to be in mourning.
In particular, the lighthearted banter and laughter between Rahma’s parents and third parties about the kidnapping and the division of the reward money, coupled with discreet allusions to avoiding discussing the inquest over the phone, using coded language, left Deputy Coroner Freund perplexed.