Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou’s family has confirmed to Global News that they have hired a private investigator to look into their belief that the 10-year-old has been abducted.
The investigator does not want his identity unveiled. He claimed that he was the one who discovered the security footage of Ariel looking backwards before the police got their hands on it. Police would not comment on that, as the video is part of the investigation.
The private eye spent part of the afternoon with Ariel’s aunt and uncle in the basement of the Bordelais Restaurant. They watched grainy security video of the nearby apartment complex where Ariel had tried to visit a friend on the day of his disappearance.
Annick Djedje told Global News the family had hired the investigator “to find my nephew,” and that she “was not sure” about the police investigation.
The family is convinced Ariel was abducted, while the police are exploring all options.
Ariel’s aunt and uncle feel the low-quality footage taken by the cameras at the restaurant bolsters the hypothesis that he was taken.
In the footage, a car can be seen turning into the parking lot of the apartment complex. A few shadowy figures can be seen, one believed to be Ariel. The family suspects the other figures could be his abductors. The car then never leaves the parking lot, which is why some family members have theorized that Ariel may still be at the complex, held against his will.
“I can’t say that I don’t trust the cops,” Ariel’s uncle told Global News. “They have their way to work, and I cannot sit down and wait for them.”
Police and volunteers were searching near the apartment complex on Friday afternoon.
Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boisselle told Global News that hiring a PI is the family’s right, and police could not stop them from doing so.