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Missing Bosnian mother found

By ED QUIOCO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 2, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- A tip from a bus station employee led to the discovery this weekend of a Bosnian mother missing from her home in St. Petersburg for about a week.

Halida Kahrimanovic disappeared last Monday, leaving her two jobs behind and her two teenagers to fend for themselves. The teens and their mother are refugees from war-torn Bosnia and settled in St. Petersburg two years ago.

On Saturday, the day a story about the missing mother ran in the St. Petersburg Times, a Greyhound employee recognized the mother and told police she had sold her a ticket to Austin, Texas.

That led investigators to Kahrimanovic, who was visiting the ex-girlfriend of her 15-year-old son in Austin, said St. Petersburg police communication supervisor Letetia Rogers.

Contacted Sunday, Kahrimanovic's 18-year-old daughter, Emina, said "everything is okay," but declined to provide any details. "She's fine and she's healthy and that's it," she said.

After receiving the tip about the bus ticket, police asked Emina and her brother, Elmin, if they knew anyone in Austin. The two told investigators about Elmin's ex-girlfriend, Rogers said.

Police called the ex-girlfriend and asked her whether she had heard from Kahrimanovic. The ex-girlfriend told the officer Kahrimanovic was visiting her and handed the telephone to the missing mother, who spoke with investigators, Rogers said.

Since officers have established that Kahrimanovic is fine, the case is closed, Rogers said. When Kahrimanovic was asked why she had left her children, she mentioned having some family problems, Rogers said.

Last Monday, Kahrimanovic, 42, told her son that she was headed to a bus stop about 1:30 p.m. to seek a third job. When she did not come home or call to say where she was, Emina became worried and called police about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

For days, Emina and Elmin combed hospitals, took a photo of their mother to bus stations and jumped every time the phone rang, hoping it was news about their mother.

The family lives in an apartment complex on Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street.

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