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Family of Port Moody's Fariba Amani has more questions than answers
Nearly a year has passed since Fariba Amani packed a bag, left her Port Moody home for a sunny vacation cruising in the Bahamas — and never returned.
She disappeared on the return leg of the trip from the Bahamas to Miami, leaving her family and friends back home to wait. And wonder.
"It's so hard to know that someone you love is missing, and to not be able to go fight for them or do something more to find them," said Fariba's younger half-sister, Saloumeh Amani.
Fariba, 47, was on the Bahamas Celebration with her boyfriend, 46-year-old Ramiz Golshani. He reported her missing on Feb. 29, 2012 after the ship returned from its two-night trip between Grand Bahama Island and the port of Palm Beach, Florida.
He said he'd last seen Fariba at about 1 a.m. at the gift shop before he went to the casino. When Golshani woke up later that day, she still hadn't returned to the room; he reported her missing when the ship docked.
Investigators have revealed little information to her family but what Fariba's sister does know has left her with more questions than answers.
"What I do know is a lot of the crew of the ship and quite a lot of the passengers have been interviewed," said Amani, a Maple Ridge resident. But there are many who haven't been interviewed, and Amani and her family are still waiting for those people to come forward in the hopes one of them saw what happened to Fariba.
Amani knows her sister got on the cruise ship — she didn't go missing in the Bahamas — but she wonders why more wasn't done at the time the ship docked to try to locate her.
"They let all the passengers off and they let other passengers embark, and they let the boat go again," Amani said. "They didn't even pause a minute once they learned someone was missing off their ship. It seems quite careless."
The on-board search turned up nothing, except that her passport and other belongings were still in her room. An intensive air and sea search by the U.S. Coast Guard was called off after two days.
At the time, questions were raised about Fariba's boyfriend, with whom she'd had a troubled relationship.
Fariba, who had contacted a private investigator to look into Golshani but never followed through, had been about to break it off with him but decided to go on the cruise anyway in the hopes of working things out.
But investigators interviewed Golshani and cleared him of any suspicions. And this week, FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock said there are no new updates on the case.
Amani said she and her family still struggle with the mystery of Fariba's disappearance, saying she was an upbeat, outgoing woman with two grown children.
"She didn't choose to disappear, that's my belief in this," Amani said. "But there's no closure, just a lot of questions."
And they hold fast to the hope, however small it might be, that Fariba is still alive.
"Our biggest wish is for her to be back home," Amani said as she broke down in tears. "To hear her voice and see her face, see her smile again."