The search continues for missing Iowa teen Abdi Sharif, who went missing on January 17, 2020. A second organized search party is set to commence this week after a search of Des Moines’ north side last week turned up no clues to Abdi’s whereabouts. There is currently a $5,000 reward for any persons who come forward with information on Abdi’s disappearance.
Abdi Sharif, 18, went missing from a Target in Merle Hay where he worked. He was last seen on CCTV camera after leaving his shift. Details emerged in local media that before he went missing, Abdi posted on his Snapchat, “I got bad news…bad bad news.” Police have advised they are not ruling out foul play in Abdi’s disappearance.
In regards to the Snapchat with the cryptic message, his family and friends say they have no idea what he could have meant by that. Abdi’s mother, an immigrant from Somalia, went to the Target that night to pick him up after his shift, but she says he never appeared. She has been calling his cell phone nonstop since his disappearance, but the cell phone remains off. With Abdi’s cousin Ahmed Hashi translating for her on KCCI in Iowa, Abdi’s mother claims that whatever circumstances befell her son that night, she believes he left the store voluntarily. “He’s not in trouble. His mom loves him. She just wants to see him home.”
Abdi Sharif’s disappearance has sparked a great deal of activism in his community, particularly his high school. According to the principal, Kevin Biggs, it is very uncharacteristic for him to disappear without warning, “This is a young man that was not involved, as far as we knew, in any type of gangs, drugs, alcohol. He was never caught in trouble doing anything. He was just a kid who went to school and did the best he can.” The school held a coffee fundraiser for Abdi to help fund the missing persons search. In addition, volunteers also passed out ribbons for Abdi during an annual game that raises awareness for children with special needs. The community is also hopeful that the posted reward of $5,000 will be an incentive for people to come forward with information that will lead to Abdi’s safe return.