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Investigators are appealing to the public for information that could help them find Elnaz Hajtamiri, who was abducted from a home in Wasaga Beach, Ont., three months ago.The Canadian Press

One man has been arrested and another man is wanted in connection with a vicious assault on an Ontario woman last December – an attack that investigators believe is linked to her subsequent abduction one month later, when three men dragged her barefoot through the snow from a relative’s rural home.

On Thursday, 23-year-old Riyasat Singh from Brampton, Ont., was charged with attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and mischief under $5,000, relating to a Dec. 20 attack on Elnaz Hajtamiri, 37, in the underground parking garage of her York Region condominium. A second Brampton man, 23-year-old Harshdeep Binner, is wanted on the same charges.

Ms. Hajtamiri was beaten with a frying pan during the attack, which stopped after a bystander interrupted. Police say the suspects fled in a silver car that was later recovered and determined to have been stolen from Toronto.

In the aftermath of the attack, Ms. Hajtamiri went to stay with a family member in Wasaga Beach, Ont. There, on the evening of Jan. 12, three men in “police gear” forced their way into the home and dragged her out to a waiting car. She has not been seen since.

“This is an incredibly unusual case,” OPP Detective Inspector Martin Graham said in an interview earlier in the week, before the announcement about the arrest and warrant. Police have no motive or rationale for the crime, he said. No ransom demand has been made. In more than 32 years of policing, he said, he has “never come across a case similar to this one.”

One of the most chilling details of the case is that, prior to her abduction, police say Ms. Hajtamiri had discovered that a tracking device had been attached to her car.

On Tuesday, the same day that police made a public plea for information about the missing woman, her ex-boyfriend Mohamad Lilo appeared in court – charged with criminal harassment against her before her disappearance. Det. Insp. Graham did not provide specific details about the allegations against Mr. Lilo, 34, who lives in a suburb outside Montreal, saying only that evidence was uncovered during their investigation that related to “a pattern of behaviour against Elnaz, over a period of time.”

In addition to a personal relationship, Det. Insp. Graham said the two were involved in a professional relationship relating to the exports business.

Philippe Grenier, a lawyer for Mr. Lilo, declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday evening.

OPP investigators are working with York Regional Police, given the link between the abduction and the earlier attack.

Bill Dickson, a spokesperson for the OPP, said Thursday that the arrest and warrant in the earlier attack “are a very big positive step forward.”

“We will continue to work with York Regional Police, and anyone else we need to, to bring her home.”

In a statement released through the OPP earlier on Tuesday, Ms. Hajtamiri’s mother pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

“We desperately need your help,” said the statement from Fariba Hajtamiri. “I beg you, as a mother, to guide us and tell us anything you know. Please help us find Elnaz.”

Det. Insp. Graham could not speak to any communication between the two police services after the December attack and Ms. Hajtamiri’s retreat to Wasaga Beach, but said he is aware that “a number of safety plans” had been developed between her and the York service.

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