The hunt continued Wednesday for a missing Baton Rouge woman whose car was found torched in north Baton Rouge over the weekend.
Hamed Ghassemi, the son of 54-year-old Taherah Ghassemi, pleaded Wednesday for help in the search for his mother, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen who moved to the Baton Rouge area a decade ago.
“Deep down in my heart, I feel she is still alive, and she will return soon,” said Hamed Ghassemi, 37. “It’s just a question of where she is and who is holding her.”
The Sheriff’s Office said it could not release any new details about the missing person investigation because it is ongoing.
Hamed Ghassemi last heard from his mother, whom he lives with in Baton Rouge, on Saturday night. She sent him a text message asking what he would like for dinner, and he told her he would be home late from work.
“And she said, ‘OK. Good luck.’ And that was the last time I ever heard from her,” Hamed Ghassemi said.
He described his mother as a quiet, kind person with a small, close-knit group of friends. She worked at the Wal-Mart in Denham Springs, he said, and he thought she had gone Saturday night to stay with a friend who lives near the store. She sometimes did that because it was a much shorter trip to work from there than from her home in Baton Rouge, Hamed Ghassemi said.
But his mother never went to Wal-Mart on Sunday, he said.
“She didn’t have any enemies that I know of in Baton Rouge,” he said. “Just a lot of good friends.”
Hamed Ghassemi said his mother became a U.S. citizen in 2009, four years after her arrival in the country. She came to join her son, who has been here since 1995, and her husband at the time, Hamid Ghassemi, who has been in the U.S. since the 1970s and owns two Import One car dealerships on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.
Shortly after her arrival, a long and bitter marital dispute began in court, in 2006, between her and her husband. It didn’t end until about two months ago, when the divorce was settled, according to court records.
Tom Gibbs, one of Taherah Ghassemi’s attorneys in the dispute, said he became good friends with her at least partly because of the longevity of the case. In fact, several other small matters related to the divorce that weren’t apparent until after the settlement still need to be decided, Gibbs said, and he spoke to his client about a week ago.
“She is a very good mother, a very good, hard worker,” Gibbs said, “and just a very good and decent person.”
Authorities are asking anyone with information about Ghassemi’s disappearance to call the Sheriff’s Office at (225) 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.
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