It is not often that we get a chance to talk about the work that we do due to client confidentiality however, in this case we can. The investigation by the BBC @SueM1tchell and #RobLawrie had been active for a few years before they got in touch with us. The full story can be found on BBC Sounds and the story still continues to this day.
A private detective who has been helping us, suggests someone also follows Reza on foot. Rob’s friend Colin agrees to help.
We’re meeting in another out-of-town shopping centre. I’m in place across the road watching from a shop window, Colin is at a back table in the coffee shop and Rob waits near the entrance ready to greet Reza.
Reza is late and we fear he might have got wind of what we’re up to. When he arrives he paces back and forth outside for a few minutes, but then he enters, smiles and accepts the bear from Rob. He’s keen to talk about his life in Afghanistan and the war he claims he fled.
After about 20 minutes, he gets up to leave. He has the bear with him, and Colin is on his trail. This is it.
Back at the car we watch the tracker as it refreshes every 20 seconds. Colin phones in his location as he follows Reza on and off buses. But then Colin calls in a panic – he fears Reza’s onto him. He’s spooked and wants to fall back, leaving us reliant on the tracker. We agree, but then the tracker suddenly stops moving.
Twenty minutes pass. We fear Reza might have abandoned the bear in the bus station. Colin comes back to the car and relays a journey in which Reza appears to double back on himself – is he trying to throw us off track?
It’s a nerve-wracking moment and we feel deflated. Reza is unlikely to meet us again and if this doesn’t work there isn’t a back-up plan.
The private detective who has been helping us, volunteers to head towards the last location point on the app. We wait and time seems to slow down.
Then everything happens at once.
The app bursts into life, the bear is on the move and the detective is on the case.
We chart the route as it snakes out from the city centre.
Then comes the moment we’ve been waiting for.
The detective phones. He’s outside a block of flats and has seen Reza going into the building just seconds before.
The detective suggests we look for clues to confirm that Reza and Bru live there. And that means sifting through rubbish bags outside the building. It’s a slow and unpleasant job, but we find a child’s bus pass and a school label with Bru’s name on it.
We phone Goli with the news – we have found her little girl.
A big thanks to the team for us allowing us to assist them in this case, it will be one case that will be remember for a long time.
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