CALGARY – Police have confirmed that a fleeing suspect who was shot dead by RCMP last month was the killer of a woman found in a Calgary backyard a few days earlier.
Investigators identified the suspect as Adam Bettahar and say they are no longer looking into the death of 22-year-old Nadia El-Dib.
“Based on all the evidence we have, we are totally confident that Mr. Bettahar is responsible for Nadia’s murder,” said Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm of the Calgary police homicide unit Wednesday.
Police said Bettahar and El-Dib had been seeing each other last year, but were no longer involved when they left a Calgary hookah bar together early on March 25.
She contacted a friend about an hour later to say Bettahar refused to take her to her parked vehicle.
Police said he instead drove El-Dib to a northeast neighbourhood and parked behind a home before stabbing her about 40 times and cutting her throat.
She was able to escape despite her injuries, but Bettahar shot her at least twice in the backyard — forensic evidence suggests she was already on the ground when she was shot the second time.
Racha El-Dib, Nadia’s sister, said Bettahar’s actions have broken her family.
“A life was taken away too soon, my best friend and sister at the hands of a disturbed young man who believed he had the right to murder her because she chose to exercise her right of taking ownership of her life, body and soul, by saying no to a man who was persistent on being with her,” said El-Dib.
“My sister Nadia made it clear that she would not give herself to him in any way.
“We know that because she fought until her last breath to get away from Abderrahmane ‘Adam’ Bettahar.”
El-Dib said she doesn’t want her sister to become a nameless statistic.
She hopes her death will prompt other women in abusive situations to get help.
“Women live in fear for their lives every day of the repercussions of refusing a man,” she said.
“I’m here to use Nadia’s voice to give strength to those who have been in similar situations, to those who are in mentally, physically or emotionally abusive situations, so that they can find the strength to reach out.”
An RCMP officer spotted Bettahar five days later near the community of Evansburg, west of Edmonton, and gave chase because there was a Canada-wide warrant out for him.
Bettahar died in an exchange of gunfire with officers. An RCMP sergeant was injured.
He was released from hospital two days later.
— With files from CTV Calgary