'Nadia means hope': 5 years later, Edmonton mother continues search for daughter
Salwa Atwi knows somebody knows something.
Thursday marked five years since her daughter, Nadia Atwi, went missing. Still, she's not ready to give up and is asking anyone with any information to come forward and help her family find some closure – one way or another.
"Nadia means hope," Salwa said. "I look at [her] picture and I keep my hope up because she is the reason I am still trying.
"She is the reason I look forward to a brighter day."
Nadia was reported missing on Dec. 8, 2017, after she didn't show up for work at the elementary school where she taught kindergarten. The 32-year-old's car was found in a ditch in Rundle Park later that day, with her cell phone and a single shoe nearby.
In the weeks and months that followed, Nadia's family and friends scoured the city.
Nadia Atwi is seen in this undated photo. A $50,000 reward from Atwi's family was still available in December 2022 for tips leading to the woman's whereabouts. (Nahreman Issa/CTV News Edmonton)
They organized search parties, held vigils, posted flyers and handed out custom window decals with Nadia's picture.
Salwa said the family tried everything they could think of to help the police solve Nadia's case, launching a provincial billboard campaign and putting up a $50,000 reward for tips leading to Nadia.
But nothing yet has come in, she said, and she's not sure what else she can do now besides pray for her daughter and share her story, regardless of how painful doing so can be.
The family of missing woman Nadia Atwi printed off window decals in an effort to generate tips leading to her safe return.
"Does a mother [need] to tell how hard it is when your child goes missing? You don't know if they are alive or – God forbid – dead. It's been very hard," Salwa said during a recent interview with CTV News Edmonton.
"And the hardest thing about it is that you can't grieve in silence. You need public help."
Salwa said she believes the police are doing all they can. They've been supportive of the family, she said, and answered every question she's asked.
But each answer, the mother added, only leads to more questions.
"It's like you're trying to put the puzzles together, but so many pieces are missing."
'I KEEP MY HOPE'
Edmonton Police Service confirmed Nadia's case remains open as a missing persons investigation. The circumstances around her disappearance are concerning, investigators said, but they are staying open to all possibilities and will follow up on any leads or new information that comes in.
Without evidence to suggest Nadia is dead, Salwa said she tries to stay positive. She refuses to give in to speculation or fear.
"I remember the first detective I talked to. He said, 'No bad news is good news,'" Salwa recalled.
"The only fact is that Nadia's still missing," she said.
Things like photos of Nadia or her perfume sometimes make Salwa feel like her daughter is still close by.
A photograph of a young Nadia Atwi is seen here. Salwa Atwi said reminiscing over old photographs is one of the ways she has stayed connected to her daughter Nadia over the five years the woman has been missing. (Nahreman Issa/CTV News Edmonton)
Other times, it feels like her daughter is disappearing all over again.
Every time she hears of another missing person, Salwa thinks of Nadia and the mystery of Dec. 8, 2017. Until she knows where her first-born child is, it's impossible to move forward.
"We love her and we miss her so much, and by trying to keep her story out there – I know someone knows something. Somebody has seen something that morning."
Salwa Atwi looks over old photographs during an interview with CTV News Edmonton in December 2022. She said the pictures are one of the ways she has stayed connected to her daughter Nadia over the five years the woman has been missing. (Nahreman Issa/CTV News Edmonton)
Even if she learns that the worst has happened, she needs to know, Salwa said.
"After five years, there are no words to describe the situation," Salwa said. "We just need closure so we know what to do."
"If she is gone, then I will know she is with God and I will be at peace."
The $50,000 reward is still available for any leads that help find Nadia.
Anyone with information should contact police at 780-423-4567 or dial #377 from a cell phone.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously online at www.p3tips.com/tipform or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nahreman Issa
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Backlog of airline complaints balloons by 6,395 since December travel chaos: Canadian Transportation Agency
The fallout from the December travel chaos continues, as the backlog of complaints made to the Canadian Transportation Agency keeps growing. As of Jan. 31, there have been 6,395 new complaints made to the agency since Dec. 21.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner is raising concerns over the federal government's spending on so-called COVID-19 quarantine hotels, calling the total spent on a Calgary-area hotel in 2022 'legitimately flabbergasting.'
At first, Juan Delgado agreed to spend 24 hours inside a Dundas St. Denny’s as a consequence of losing in his fantasy football league.
A chance discovery in a Canadian laboratory could help extend the life of laptop, phone and electric car batteries.
News that she'd be headed back to the office was very welcoming for English instructor Kathy Andvaag, after more than two years teaching from her “dark” and “cold” basement.
With the spring break travel season approaching, those looking to flee the cold, wet Canadian snow for sunnier skies will likely be met with a hefty price tag for their getaway, with inflation and increased demand pushing costs up.
Jeopardy! turned the spotlight on Ontario on Monday night with a category entirely dedicated to the province. One question stumped every contestant.
Loblaw will not be extending its price freeze on No Name brand products, but vows to keep the yellow label product-pricing flat 'wherever possible.'
Woman detained in Syria says Ottawa is forcing her to make agonizing choice in order to get her kids to Canada
A woman held in a detention camp in Syria, along with her three Canadian children, says the federal government is forcing her to make an agonizing choice: relinquish custody of her kids so they can be repatriated to Canada, or keep them in the camp where the conditions are dire. Her children are eligible for repatriation but she is not a Canadian citizen.
A Calgary-area MP is questioning why the federal government spent almost $7 million last year for a quarantine hotel in the city that only 15 people stayed at.
The first instalment of the province’s affordability payments has been automatically deposited into the bank accounts of Albertans already receiving income supports.
Chestermere mayor slams what he calls false allegations made about staff abuse amid other investigations
Chestermere Mayor Jeff Colvin says people are pushing their own political agendas following an accusation that a city staffer slapped another employee.
Residents of a Saskatoon care home are speaking out about staff shortages and broken equipment in their facility.
Thirty-seven-year-old Adam Willet was found dead in his apartment on 7th Street East in December, and his family says they are now on the hook for cleaning the suite.
The Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West), which represents some Saskatoon healthcare workers, has launched a petition calling for safer parking.
The former YMCA building is again becoming a hub of activity downtown. Last week, a temporary emergency shelter moved into the vacant facility. On Wednesday, a fitness club will open for business under private ownership.
The Town of Assiniboia is living up to its nickname as the 'Heart of the Golden South' with its new rink attracting visitors from across southern Saskatchewan.
The SaskTel Tankard Provincial Men's Curling Championships kicks off in Estevan this week and newly formed Team Muyres is ready to make their mark.
A blast of Arctic air will combine with northwest gusts to make it feel like -35 degrees or colder for parts of all three Maritime provinces Friday night into Saturday.
New shoplifting numbers from Statistics Canada show significant increases in the Maritimes.
A section of the Trans-Canada highway that passes through the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border remains closed Tuesday evening due to an overturned propane truck in the Londonderry, N.S., area.
The family of a 95-year-old Ontario woman tricked into withdrawing $10,000 in the middle of a major snowstorm said it's 'absolutely unconscionable' that bank employees allowed her to take out the money without contacting her power of attorney.
York Regional Police say they are investigating after a baby was seriously injured in Markham on Tuesday afternoon.
Brady Tkachuk scored at 18:41 of the third period to lift the Ottawa Senators to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
A man who brutally attacked a 10-year-old girl in Montreal's Pointe-aux-Trembles neighbourhood last spring was declared a high-risk offender by a judge Tuesday.
So far, the winter season across Southwestern Quebec has been marked by above-average snowfall and above-average temperatures, but that is about to change. Cold, arctic air has been gradually pushing into the province.
A 45-year-old man was killed and a woman was hospitalized in a stabbing at a south end apartment overnight, police said. A 37-year-old suspect has been arrested.
Ottawa is grappling with a lot of snow this winter and the city is working hard to keep up with removing it all.
An Ottawa-area man wants answers from Sunwing Airlines after his wheelchair was lost for four days following a flight home.
A Kitchener public school board trustee has released an open letter of dissent, arguing a recent communication to parents from the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) may have a “chilling effect” on those who may wish to voice concerns in public forums.
The City of Kitchener says they have wrapped up the first phase of consultation regarding a controversial statue in a public park.
The Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) could temporarily be relocating to the Brantford Civic Centre while their home ice undergoes major renovations.
After putting the brakes on a planned event involving high-profile drag queens at a Sudbury high school two weeks ago, the Rainbow District School Board has made a final decision about it.
Charges are being laid for the third time in connection with an ongoing dispute between northern Ontario neighbours, police say.
Preston Pablo, 21, of Timmins is a singer, songwriter and musician who's been nominated for three Juno Awards.
RCMP in Headingley say a fire at a business in the RM of Rosser that caused millions in damage was a case of arson.
New standards for long-term care homes are being rolled out across Canada in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the tragedies that unfolded during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disturbing video of a man berating a young couple with homophobic slurs in downtown Vancouver has triggered a police investigation – and prompted an outpouring of support for the victims.
The ongoing toxic drug crisis, waves of COVID-19 and other mass casualty events have B.C. healthcare workers pleading for faster access to mental health care as more of them find themselves distressed and despairing.
Following a week and a half of testimony from 34 witnesses, the jury in the coroner's inquest into death of Vancouver police Const. Nicole Chan began deliberating Tuesday.
A Vancouver Island man is awaiting possible extradition to the United States on charges of sexual assault against his 13-year-old stepdaughter.
A temp agency on Vancouver Island is taking a compassionate crack at the labour shortage.
Residents of a neighbourhood near Nanaimo armed themselves with "garden tools" to confront a break-in suspect last week, according to local police.