CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

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CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:59 am

Just a year after Forest Hill teen Mariam Makhniashvili disappeared on her way to school, the girl’s younger brother, George Makhniashvili, has also gone missing.“He went to school but he didn’t go inside. That’s all we have right now,” the siblings’ father, Vakhtang Makhniashvili told the National Post on Monday night. “We are very worried. The police are working on it.”The circumstances of 17-year-old George’s disappearance are strangely similar to those of his sister’s disappearance.
Mariam, who was also 17 at the time she went missing, was last seen on Sept. 14 after walking with her brother to their high school, Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, a short distance from their parents’ home. She had no money and no passport when she disappeared. Despite numerous efforts to locate her, she has not been found.Mr. Makhniashvili said he saw his son on Monday morning before he left for school, but has no idea what happened after.Police at 53 Division said detectives were at the North Toronto apartment building where the Makhniashvili family lives.

****
The younger brother of missing Toronto teenager Mariam Makhniashvili has been found.Toronto police confirmed that Giorgi Makhniashvili, 17, returned to his parents' central Toronto apartment shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, 10 hours after they had filed a missing-person report when he didn't come home after school.
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CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 ~ Toronto ON

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, the father of missing Toronto girl Mariam Makhniashvili, has been arrested in relation to a double stabbing in the city's east end, police say.After the stabbing at 10 Greenwood Avenue just before noon Thursday, a husband and wife in their 40s were taken to St. Michael's Hospital with multiple wounds.Makhniashvili turned himself in to Toronto police and is being questioned by detectives.Witnesses told CBC reporter John Lancaster that there was a verbal confrontation before the stabbing, which they said happened in front of the house.Witnesses also told Lancaster that a man dropped the knife at the scene, calmly walked to his car and drove away. Lancaster said that the female victim's nightgown was soaked in blood, according to witnesses. The scene, near Queen Street East, is kilometres from Makhniashvili's home in Forest Hill in the city's north end. The area was blocked to traffic and there was a heavy police presence.Mariam has not been seen since September. Her family said she left her home for Forest Hill Collegiate Institute with her brother George, on the morning of Sept. 14, 2009.The siblings decided to enter the school by way of different doors, and Mariam has not been seen since. Her backpack was found a few kilometres from the high school on Oct. 8, 2009, in a parking lot in midtown Toronto.Vakhtang Makhniashvili's arrest comes two days after George returned home after he allegedly ran away for a day. The two had apparently argued over George's aspiration to be a musician and his father's desire that he study mathematics.
***** UPDATED 11/5/10 @ 11:31 PM
The father of a missing Toronto teenager will be back in court Wednesday on an attempted murder charge in a case not directly related to his daughter's disappearance.
Vakhtang Makhniashvili (mak-nee-ash-VIL'-ee) turned himself in and was charged Thursday after a couple suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries in a stabbing near Greenwood Avenue and Queen Street East.
A one-time philosophy professor originally from the Republic of Georgia, Makhniashvili appeared in court Friday in an orange jumpsuit charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and failure to comply with bail conditions.
His wife Lela Tabidze, a former journalist, appeared shocked at Makhniashvili's arrest, and took notes in a turquoise notebook.
Before the appearance, she told a group of reporters she had not spoken to her husband yet and that he was never violent at home. Tabidze did not comment after the case was put over.
On Thursday, neighbours at the blood-stained crime scene identified the injured pair as David and Delores Langer, the same couple who posted $50,000 bail for Makhniashvili after he was charged with a separate stabbing. In that case, he is alleged to have stabbed a 26-year-old neighbour because he was making too much noise.
The Langers did not know Makhniashvili before that incident, but nonetheless posted bail. They pulled it after Makhniashvili told local media he was suspicious of the motives of Langer, who is a private detective. Makhniashvili's wife later became his surety.
The troubled family has been in the spotlight for 14 months since the couple's 17-year-old daughter Mariam went to school one day and never came back.
"It caused a lot of stress," Makhniashvili's lawyer Calvin Barry said Friday outside court.
"It's like anything. How many smacks can you take in a short period of time? And it's been a pretty tough week for the best of people in this scenario."
Mariam vanished after walking to Forest Hill Collegiate Institute with her brother in September 2009. She had moved to Canada just three months earlier from the Republic of Georgia to be with her parents, who had gone ahead.
Police conducted several massive searches, canvassed thousands of homes in the area, seized library computers and held public appeals for her safe return. But few traces of the girl have been found.
The only solid clue was her backpack and books found in a parking lot a few kilometres away from the high school, about a month after she vanished.
The case later appeared on the TV crime show "America's Most Wanted," but more than a year later, police said they were still scratching their heads.
Vakhtang Makhniashvili and Tabidze left Georgia in 2003, leaving their children in the care of their grandparents.
The two worked in California and then reunited with their children in Toronto in May 2009.
Makhniashvili had been under house arrest since the May incident.
He is now in protective custody at a medical wing at Toronto's Metro West Detention Centre. At Friday's brief court appearance, his case was put over so the court can address the charges from both stabbing incidents at the same time.
Barry told reporters Makhniashvili has been under the care of a psychiatrist and taking medication.
He also said this week has been difficult for his client, due to his daughter's disappearance and his son Giorgi running away for several hours Monday.
Giorgi, 17, skipped school and stayed away overnight in what Makhniashvili said was a dispute over the boy's interest in playing his guitar over studying math.


Last edited by TomTerrific0420 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by karma on Thu May 12, 2011 2:30 am

Father of missing teen Makhniashvili pleads guilty to aggravated assault
May 11, 2011


Vakhtang Makhniashvili speaks to media in November 2010.

The father of a missing Toronto teen pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to three counts of aggravated assault in connection with two separate stabbing incidents — one involving a former neighbour and the other a married couple who once bailed him out.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, whose daughter Mariam vanished outside her school in September 2009 — a disappearance that garnered international attention and launched an unprecedented search by Toronto police for a missing person — quietly uttered “Guilty” when arraigned.

Standing in the prisoner’s box, the 51-year-old, clad in a grey suit, told Justice Rebecca Rutherford he understood the allegations related to the incidents involving Sean Ure on May 7, 2010 and David and Delores Langer on Nov. 4, 2010.

The hearing at the College Park courthouse was put over until Friday, when prosecutor John Cisorio and defence lawyer Calvin Barry are expected to present an agreed statement of facts.

Wife Lela Tabidze, who attended the brief proceedings, later told reporters she is relieved a resolution is near.

“It’s not over yet,” she said. “But I feel so much better it’s coming to an end.”

The defence said it will be requesting a sentence of two years less a day, plus time spent in pre-trial custody, to be served in a provincial reformatory. The Crown indicated it will seek a penitentiary sentence. A psychiatric assessment of Makhniashvili was ordered under the Mental Health Act.

“It’s been stressful, but his wife has been sticking with him and his son has been supportive,” Barry told reporters outside the courthouse. “There’s been a lot of trauma with the missing child and what has happened in his life ... He’s been very stressed.

“There has been some precipitating factors … that do explain some of the aberrant behaviour on the part of (Makhniashvili).”

Following the two incidents, Makhniashvili faced additional charges, including attempted murder, but it is expected that those charges will be stayed or withdrawn.

According to previously published reports, the first stabbing occurred May 7, 2010, when Makhniashvili lived with his family in a rental highrise on Shallmar Blvd. Makhniashvili confronted neighbour Sean Ure about noise levels. An altercation ensued and ended with Makhniashvili stabbing Ure, wounding him in the stomach.

The argument reportedly occurred on a day when human remains were found in a park, which resulted in a flurry of media calls to the family and distressed Makhniashvili. The remains did not belong to Mariam.

At the time, Makhniashvili was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, forcible entry and four counts of threatening bodily harm.

David and Delores (who also goes by the name Rosita) Langer — a couple Makhniashvili had never met — posted $50,000 bail for his release.

Makhniashvili later learned his sureties, with whom he lived, were private investigators, who had taken a special interest in Mariam’s disappearance.

When he grew suspicious of the couple’s motives he contacted reporters in June and the couple withdrew their bail, which landed Makhniashvili back in jail.

His wife, who had moved to another unit near Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. E., became his new surety.

Makhniashvili was placed under house arrest and the ensuing months were difficult for the family, including son George, who is now 18.

All the while, the disappearance of Mariam, who vanished at age 17 on Sept. 14, 2009 outside Forest Hill Collegiate, weighed heavily on the family.

Her disappearance jump-started an investigation by Toronto police that was unprecedented, largely because she appeared to have vanished without a trace.

Mariam and her brother had immigrated in June 2009 from the Republic of Georgia to be reunited with their parents, who had left the politically unstable country six years earlier. She spoke little English, had no friends, no boyfriend, and no money. And, according to her parents, had no reason to run away.

In their search, police canvassed about 6,000 homes near the school and family home, searched garbage transfer stations, viewed thousands of hours of security footage taken from buildings in the area and seized computers from two libraries that Mariam frequented. There were also reported sightings of Mariam in Western Canada, but it wasn’t her. To date, there is still no word on what happened to Mariam.

Her disappearance caused tremendous strain on the family and on Nov. 1, brother George failed to return home from school. His parents spoke with reporters, fearful their son was abducted — a fate they suspect befell their daughter.

After a night of wandering the streets, George returned home the next morning, but his disappearance prompted a series of media reports.

Something Makhniashvili read in those ensuing days upset him and on the morning of Nov. 4, he left home and headed for the Langer’s residence, near Greenwood and Queen St. E. He was armed with a knife. After the Langers came to the door, Makhniashvili attacked them, wounding both of them. David Langer was more seriously injured seriously than his wife and spent time in hospital.

Following the attack, Makhniashvili surrendered to police. He has been in custody ever since.

http://www.thestar.com/news/mariam/article/989558--father-of-missing-teen-makhniashvili-pleads-guilty-to-aggravated-assault?bn=1
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by karma on Thu May 12, 2011 2:41 am



Mariam Makhniashvili

Date of Birth: October 27, 1991
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Brown
Height: 156 cm
Weight: 64 kg

Mariam was last seen on September 14, 2009 heading to Forest Hill Collegiate school in Toronto, ON.

If you have seen MARIAM MAKHNIASHVILI or know of her whearabouts, please call the Toronto Police Service at (416) 808-2222 or, Missing Children Society of Canada at 1-800-661-6160.
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by karma on Sun May 15, 2011 1:18 am

Dad of missing teen blames stress for stabbings
May 13, 2011


Mariam Makhniashvili disappeared in Sept. 2009.

The father of a missing young woman from Toronto says stress over his family situation led to him stabbing three people.

Fifty-one-year-old Vakhtang Makhniashvili pleaded guilty earlier this week to three counts of aggravated assault and on Friday admitted to facts about those stabbings.

The Georgian immigrant's daughter Mariam vanished in September 2009 when she was 18 years old.

He says he stabbed one of his neighbours in May 2010, accusing him of being responsible for his daughter's disappearance.

While he was on bail for that stabbing, he stabbed two of the people who acted as his sureties, accusing them of being behind an unfavourable newspaper article about his family.

He will be back in court July 26 for a sentencing hearing.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/05/13/toronto-vakhtang-makhniashvili.html
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by karma on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:51 am

Mariam's disappearance marks second anniversary
September 13, 2011


Missing Mariam Makhniashvili’s parents father Vakhtang Makhniashvili, mother Lela Tabidze and brother George Makhniashvili hold small rally at Yonge - Dundas Square, April 3, 2010. (Toronto Sun file photo)

Mariam Makhniashvili’s mother, Lela Tabidze, still hopes to be reunited with her missing daughter.



But as the heartbroken mom prepared to face the second anniversary of her teen daughter’s disappearance Wednesday without her troubled husband at her side, she seemed somewhat at peace in spite of the difficulties she’s been through.

“I just want to thank people for remembering,” Tabidze said calmly Tuesday.

She’s been following the story of Kienan Hebert, the three-year-old B.C. boy snatched from his home last week.

Learning the tot was returned to his parents on Sunday has given her a renewed sense of optimism, Tabidze said.

“That was really a miracle,” she said. “I’m so happy for that family.

“Maybe we can have a happy ending like that one day,” Tabidze added.

But Kienan was only gone four days and Mariam has been missing for 730 days.

She was last seen by her younger brother George as they walked to school together Sept. 14, 2009, from their apartment on Shallmar Blvd., in the Bathurst St. and Eglinton Ave. W. area.

The siblings apparently parted ways at the rear doors of Forest Hill Collegiate and Mariam, then 17, vanished without a trace.

The girl’s backpack filled with her school books was found three weeks later behind a building on Roehampton Ave., near Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave.

Like Mariam’s mom, Toronto Police remain hopeful, even though the teen’s schoolbag remains their only tangible piece of evidence.

Det.-Const. Jennifer Young said there are still several officers working on the case every day, chasing down leads.

“We still get between one and five Crime Stoppers tips coming in each week,” she said, adding police also receive “sporadic” reports of Mariam sightings.

But so far none of the tips have amounted to anything.

And despite Mariam’s dad’s legal troubles, Young said Vakhtang Makhniashvili is not thought to be involved in his daughter’s disappearance.

It seems not knowing if Mariam is dead or alive has been too much for the distraught father to handle.

The 51-year-old is behind bars awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to three counts of aggravated assault stemming from two separate stabbings.

On May 7, 2010, Vakhtang barged into his neighbour Sean Ure’s apartment and stabbed the 26-year-old in the abdomen, apparently believing the man had something to do with Mariam’s disappearance.

Then on Nov. 4, 2010, Vakhtang went to the home of David and Delores (Rose) Langer and stabbed the couple, strangers who for unknown reasons bailed him out of jail after the first stabbing.

Vakhtang was in court to be sentenced in July when he had an outburst and tried to fire his lawyer claiming he had been blackmailed into pleading guilty.

The judge ordered him to undergo further psychological testing.

“He’s doing okay considering the situation,” Tabidze said of her husband, who is to appear in court Oct. 20.

She said Vakhtang is “getting some help” while he is in custody.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/13/mariams-disappearance-marks-second-anniversary
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by karma on Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:55 pm

October 20, 2011 - Vakhtang Makhniashvili will be sentenced in December for two separate stabbing attacks that wounded three people.

Makhniashvili, whose daughter Mariam disappeared more than two years ago, pleaded guilty in May to three counts of aggravated assault.

On Thursday his victims were in court to describe how their lives had been affected by the attacks.

All said they still feel anxious and fearful.

"I am now on anti-depressants because of the constant nightmares and flashbacks," Dolores Langer told the court.

She and her husband David were stabbed by Makhniashvili at their east end home in November 2010. They had helped Makhniashvili to secure bail after the first incident.

In the earlier case Makhniashvili stabbed a former neighbour in May 2010.

On Thursday, the 26-year-old victim told the court Makhniashvili blamed him for Mariam's disappearance.

"[My] anxiety has increased exponentially," the man said. "Forgiveness is very unlikely."

According to a psychiatric report, Makhniashvili suffers from a type of delusional disorder. The report also says his daughter's disappearance likely contributed to his violent behaviour.

Makhniashvili's lawyer told the court the family now believes Mariam is dead.


Mariam Makhniashvili has been missing since Sept. 14, 2009.

"I would like to apologize to my victims. I didn't realize how much pain and trouble I've caused to society and my family," Makhniashvili told the court.

The Crown is seeking a sentence of eight to 10 years in prison. The judge will make her decision in December.

Mariam has not been seen since September 2009. She left her home for Forest Hill Collegiate Institute with her brother, George, the morning of Sept. 14. She was 17 years old when she went missing.

The siblings decided to enter the school through different doors, and Mariam has not been seen since. Her backpack was found a few kilometres from the high school on Oct. 8, 2009, in a parking lot in midtown Toronto.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/10/20/toronto-makhniashvili.html
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by karma on Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:11 am

'W5' profiles baffling teen case
November 17, 2011


Mariam Makhniashvili

There always are clues when someone disappears. It’s accepted as one of the basic truths of police work.

But in the ongoing case of missing Toronto teen Mariam Makhniashvili, there truly appear to be none. It’s both tragic and baffling.

The long-running W5, which airs Saturdays on CTV, takes a documentary-style look at the disappearance of Mariam Makhniashvili this weekend. The doc was produced with the full co-operation of Toronto police investigators, who remain determined to find out what happened.

The W5 report features not only interviews with Mariam’s mother and other relatives, but also an exclusive interview with Sean Ure, the Toronto neighbour who subsequently was attacked and stabbed by Mariam’s irate father, Vakhtang Makhniashvili.

Mariam, then 17 and new to Canada from the Republic of Georgia, disappeared without a trace on Sept. 14, 2009. She made the short walk to school that day with her brother, but parted ways with him outside the building and has not been seen since.

http://www.lfpress.com/entertainment/tv/2011/11/17/18981941.html
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:36 pm

The strange saga of missing teenager Mariam Makhniashvili took
another twist Thursday, as police probed a potential sighting of the
girl on the same day her father was sentenced to six years in prison for
a series of violent knife attacks.

Having just learned that morning of the new lead in his daughter’s
case, Vakhtang Makhniashvili, wearing a grey suit that matched his hair,
sat hunched in the prisoner’s box as Justice Rebecca Rutherford
delivered her ruling.



“This is a very sad case that has had serious consequences for many,”
Judge Rutherford noted in her 18-page sentencing decision. “It is a
case where a mentally ill man suffered a horrific event in his life and
subsequently made decisions that led to equally horrific consequences.
Mr. Makhniashvili is living every parent’s nightmare… Unfortunately [he]
chose to deal with the ordeal alone.”
Makhniashvili pleaded guilty in May to three counts of aggravated
assault in the stabbing of three people last year, including a neighbour
he mistakenly believed was involved in his daughter’s 2009
disappearance and a Toronto couple who bailed him out of jail.

Makhniashvili stabbed neighbour Sean Ure in the abdomen “while
screaming about his missing daughter” in May 2010, the court heard.
David and Delores Langer posted Makhniashvili’s bail in that incident,
but ceased acting as his sureties after he failed to abide by household
rules. After being bailed out again, this time by his wife,
Makhniashvili attacked the Langers, stabbing Mr. Langer in the abdomen
and slashing Ms. Langer’s arm, apparently convinced they had something
to do with an unfavourable newspaper article.

A pair of psychiatric reports entered as evidence found Makhniashvili
likely suffered from delusional disorder, a major mental illness
characterized, in his case, by delusions of persecution. The disorder
appeared to have been triggered by the loss of his daughter, whose
disappearance two years ago sparked a 6,000-home canvass of their Forest
Hill neighbourhood.

According to his wife, Lela Tabidze, Makhniashvili became “completely consumed” with finding Mariam.

“[He] spent the majority of his time searching missing persons
websites on the Internet and most, if not all, of his conversations were
about finding their daughter,” Judge Rutherford noted, citing evidence
from Ms. Tabidze. “Mr. Makhniashvili, on his own initiative, walked
through ravines while armed with a knife searching for his daughter.”

With pretrial custody taken into account, Makhniashvili has four
years and 11 months left to serve, though his lawyer said he could be
out on parole in a fraction of that time.

“He wants to get better and stay better,” defence lawyer Calvin Barry
said outside court, noting his client will continue to work on his
psychiatric issues with prison doctors.

Ms. Langer, who attended the sentencing, said she had empathy for
Makhniashvili’s circumstances, but the incident seriously damaged her
ability to trust other people.

“I will never ever forget the scream that came out of my husband. I
hear it constantly, daily,” said Ms. Langer, who still has a large scar
on her wrist where the knife went in and remains on medication for the
pain. “I live with flashbacks, nightmares. I feel the blood running down
my arm.”

Coinciding with Makhniashvili’s sentencing, police issued a news
release Thursday morning saying they were reviewing surveillance footage
linked to a recent tip in Mariam’s case — the latest among hundreds of
sightings over the years, including a much-publicized, but ultimately
false, lead that she was in Alberta selling dream catchers.

The recent potential sighting was of an apparently homeless girl who
resembled Mariam at a low-rise apartment building in the area of
Victoria Park and St. Clair Avenue, Detective Sergeant Dan Nealon said.

“We are taking it seriously enough to try to get as much surveillance
video out of this location as possible,” Det. Sgt. Nealon said.
“There’s nothing to suggest that it’s confirmed that this is Mariam, but
at the same time we can’t dismiss it 100%.”
http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/12/08/father-of-missing-mariam-makhniashvili-sentenced-to-six-years-in-prison-for-knife-attacks/
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:27 am

Police contacted the mother of missing teen Mariam Makhniasvili on
Thursday after human remains were found in a north Toronto ravine
earlier in the week, but the remains have not yet been identified.

Skeletal remains were discovered under a bridge in a wooded area in
the Highway 401 and Yonge Street area shortly after 2 p.m. on Feb. 28 by
two people out for a walk. A golf course is also located in the area.

Police were not able to determine the age or the sex of the victim.
However, Toronto police Staff Sgt. Greg McLean told CP24 that clothing
was also found in the area.

Police said its forensics unit was assisting in the investigation,
however, little will be known about the victim until a pathology report
is completed sometime next week. The remains are currently being
examined by the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto.

CP24 crime specialist Sue Sgambati also reported that the mother of
missing teen Mariam Makhniasvili was notified about the discovery by
police.

Investigators were not drawing any conclusions about the find, noting
that it was a courtesy to contact the families of missing people when
remains are found.

"Today is not easy," Lela Tabidze, Mariam's mother, told CP24.

Makhniashvili vanished from her Toronto high school without a trace
in September 2009. She was 17 at the time. Despite a national search,
police have been unable to find her.

Her backpack was found in the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue area, a few kilometres from where the remains were discovered.
http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120301/remains-found-toronto/20120301/?hub=TorontoNewHome
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by ladibug on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:28 am

tears FOUND-Deceased

Toronto police said Friday they believe Mariam Makhniashvili, the Toronto teen missing since September 2009, died following a fall from a "significant height."

Police also confirmed on Friday that skeletal remains found last week in a wooded area are Makhniashvili's. The Toronto teen disappeared outside her high school two and a half years ago.

Two men on a walk discovered human remains 10 days ago in a wooded area near Yonge Street and Highway 401. The remains had been there for two to three years.

At a press conference Friday, Toronto police Staff Insp. Greg McLane said the cause of death was consistent with a fall from a "significant height" and that she was likely alive at the time of the fall.

Police said they are not considering the case a homicide or a suspicious death. A highway overpass runs above the spot where the remains were found.

"The location where she was found was consistent with a fall from that overpass," said McLane."The findings are not consistent with that of a homicide or a suspicious death."
Outreach groups

Youth Assisting Youth www.yay.org 1-877-932-1919
Kids' Help Phone www.kidshelpphone.ca 1-800-668-6868

When asked if Mariam committed suicide, McLane said the post-mortem results "could be consistent with that conclusion."

He said the identity of the remains was confirmed through DNA testing.

Makhniashvili was last seen on Sept. 14, 2009, when she left her home for Forest Hill Collegiate Institute with her brother.

The siblings decided to enter the school through different doors, and Mariam, then 17 years old, was not seen again.
Family had just arrived to Canada

The Makhniashvili family, originally from the Republic of Georgia, had only been in Toronto for three months when their daughter disappeared.

The parents lived in Los Angeles for five years before moving to Toronto, while Mariam and her brother lived with their grandparents in Georgia.

In the first year following her disappearance, police spent thousands of hours investigating, interviewing several thousand people and poring over evidence.

The only solid clue was the discovery of her backpack and some school books in a parking lot the following month.

In charges unrelated to Mariam's disappearance, her father, Vakhtang Makhniashvili, was sentenced in December to six years in prison after pleading guilty to stabbing three people in 2010.

The charges followed two separate stabbing incidents, one involving a neighbour and the other a couple who had posted his bail.

Police were asked Friday why extensive searches for Makhniashvili conducted in the weeks following her disappearance failed to discover the remains.

"The information I have is that that specific area was not part of the original search grid. However, the original search grid did come close to that particular area," said McLane.

Det. Sgt. Dan Nealon said investigators still have more people they want to speak with about Makhniashvili's death. Police also want to review video from overhead highway cameras in the area.

He said the case was a difficult one for police.

"We weren't getting any further with respect to a criminal investigation. Most missing people when they do go, there is some sort of a trail that leads the police somewhere. In this case there wasn't any."

"There was no concrete or specific evidence to point in one way or the other as to where she may have disappeared to."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/03/09/toronto-body-found.html
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by ladibug on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:33 am

Mariam has been found.

On Friday, police confirmed that the skeletal remains discovered last week is Mariam Makhniashvili, the 17-year-old girl who vanished without a trace more than two years ago and became the focus of a massive international search.

Though police have not confirmed suicide, forensic evidence presented by Staff Insp. Greg McLane Friday afternoon indicates as much.

Given her injuries and location, Mariam likely fell more than 16 metres from the 401 overpass to the wooded ravine below, McLane said. She was “more than likely” alive at the time of the fall and her death is not considered a homicide or suspicious.

Det. Sergeant Dan Nealon, lead detective in Mariam’s case, said the teen’s family never indicated the girl was depressed or anxious — but “in retrospect,” she kept to herself in the months before her 2009 disappearance.

Investigators “could assume that it was a result of isolation or depression,” he said, adding that she also could have been struggling with cultural barriers.

Ever since it was revealed on March 1 that a body had been found on the Don Valley Golf Course, there has been widespread speculation that the human remains could be Mariam. The coroner’s office confirmed these suspicions by positively identifying the body as the long-missing girl.

The news was officially revealed at a Friday news conference, marking a tragic end to the high-profile and excruciating search that lasted two and a half years and spanned international borders. It also partially answers the mystery that baffled seasoned investigators, tore a Toronto family apart, and captured the public’s imagination with its extraordinary circumstances and many bizarre twists.

“There’s no word I can use to explain for my own team,” said Nealon of the emotions he and other investigators felt upon learning of the confirmation of her death Thursday night. “There was an emotional attachment.”

At least one neighbour hoped Friday night that Mariam’s family would now find some peace.

“I'm happy for them that they have closure now. It's just so sad for the mother,” said Marlene Barrese, who lived at the apartment for 11 years before she moved down the street recently.

Known as “Marika” to her family, Mariam was born in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, on Oct. 27, 1991. Her parents are Lela Tabidze, a former journalist, and a philosophy lecturer named Vakhtang Makhniashvili.

Her parents moved to California in 2003, leaving Mariam and her younger brother George to be raised by relatives. In June 2009, the siblings moved to Toronto where they were reunited with their parents. The family spent the next few months getting reacquainted, making frequent excursions to nearby Earl Bales Park, a favourite spot for the Makhniashvilis.

On the morning of Sept. 14, 2009 — Mariam’s fifth day of Grade 11 at Forest Hill Collegiate — the 17-year-old girl put her books into her backpack, waved goodbye to her parents and took off for school with her brother. She and George parted ways outside the building; he entering through the back entrance, she heading toward the front.

And then, Mariam vanished.

A missing persons alert was issued the next day. By the end of the week, police had set up a command post outside the Makhniashvili home and scoured the area for clues. They failed to turn up any leads, however, and the search was upgraded to a Level 3 — the highest designation, reserved for cases of suspected foul play.

Over the coming days and weeks and months, dead-end tips and false sightings continued to pour in as police exhausted every resource and idea in their arsenal. Fields were combed, garbage bins were overturned and more than two dozen computers were seized from nearby libraries, with police hoping to find clues about Mariam’s online activities.

One hundred officers were assigned to the search, which included a canine unit, mounted police and an OPP helicopter that did aerial scans of nearby parks, including Earl Bales. Police canvassed 6,000 homes in the area and made direct appeals to thousands of students at nearby schools.

Search efforts also extended beyond borders, with police contacting Mariam’s friends in Georgia and using Crime Stoppers International, a first for Toronto police.

One month after Mariam’s disappearance, the lagging investigation was briefly reinvigorated by the first significant clue to emerge in the case. Her backpack was found near Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. East, discovered by a curious passerby who rifled through the books and saw Mariam’s name.

The backpack yielded little information, however. Up until the recent discovery of Mariam’s body, it was the last time police would publicly announce any significant breakthroughs in the case.

In 2009, Det. Sgt. Dan Nealon said Mariam’s case had “all the earmarks of a mystery.”

“Typically speaking, there is always something to kick-start your investigation that gives you direction,” said Nealon, who at the time was heading the core team of 10 investigators. “In this case, we have no direction.”

When she left her house that Monday morning in September, Mariam didn’t have any extra clothes, her passport or cash on hand. She was last seen in an area filled with students, parents and passersby, and yet nobody witnessed what happened to her. Her parents describe Mariam as a smart, happy girl with no reason to run away. The family is not politically engaged either, so it was doubtful the girl was kidnapped for political reasons.

Police were also hobbled by the fact they were looking for someone who had only been in Canada for three months, spoke little English and had no boyfriend or even friends.

But even as the case grew cold, Mariam’s name managed to stay in the headlines as her story evolved in unexpected directions.

Hopes flared briefly in December 2009 when several sightings were reported in Alberta, including one where someone matching Mariam’s description was spotted selling dreamcatchers near Calgary. Investigators speculated that Mariam could have joined a caravan of travelling teenagers, looking to raise money so they could return home to Europe. The theory failed to bear fruit.

In November 2010, it was feared that Mariam’s brother George had also gone missing. The 17-year-old soon turned up at home.

But throughout the ordeal, the actions of Mariam’s father, Vakhtang, have added the most troubling dimension to an already bizarre mystery. Police have said he is not a suspect in Mariam’s disappearance.

About a week after his daughter went missing, local media reported that Vakhtang Makhniashvili had recently been acquitted by a California court of conducting lewd sexual conduct in front of a daycare centre.

Makhniashvili has refused to discuss the incident, but according to court documents, he was charged in November 2008 after police received reports of a man in his car rubbing his crotch in plain view of children. Makhniashvili was arrested a block away and charged with two counts of lewd behaviour and one count of wilfully annoying a child.

He was acquitted of the first two counts, with the last count dismissed. It was not the last time he ran afoul with the law, however, and in May 2010, Makhniashvili was charged with assault after stabbing a neighbour in the abdomen.

Earlier that day, human remains had been found in a Toronto park. It was later revealed in court that Makhniashvili — stressed by news of the body — had forced his way into neighbour Sean Ure’s apartment and accused him of being responsible for Mariam’s vanishing. He was forced to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Mariam’s father was soon behind bars again when his $50,000 bail was abruptly pulled by the strangers who posted it and opened up their home to Makhniashvili — David Langer, a private investigator who took an interest in Mariam’s case, and his wife Delores. Neither had met Makhniashvili before deciding to post his bail.

Five months later, Makhniashvili was arrested for stabbing the Langers. He was angry about an article written the previous day by Star columnist Rosie DiManno, questioning whether the Makhniashvili home was the best place for George, who had recently run away.

As he attacked the couple, Makhniashvili reportedly yelled out “She wrote that. She wrote that” at Delores, who also goes by the names “Rose” or “Rosita.” According to an agreed statement of facts, he called his wife soon after the stabbing, telling her “I love you. I just found out who was behind this article. I stabbed the Langers.”

In May of last year, Makhniashvili pleaded guilty to both stabbing incidents and was sentenced to six years in jail. He is currently serving his sentence at Millhaven Institute.

Since Makhniashvili’s incarceration, there has been no news related to Mariam or her family.

Then, on Feb. 28, two men walking through a wooded ravine stumbled upon skeletal remains in a wooded ravine on the Don Valley Golf Course. The remains were found just southeast of Earl Bales Park, by an overpass near Yonge St. and Highway 401.

The area where Mariam’s body lay hidden for “a considerable period of time” fell just outside investigators’ extensive land and air search grid back in 2009, Nealon said.

“It’s just unfortunate we didn’t go down far enough,” he said, adding that police will now try to piece together the final movements of Mariam with video from highway surveillance cameras.

Two days after the remains were found, police notified Mariam’s mother as a “courtesy.” She was cautious not to read too much into the discovery, telling reporters she didn’t harbour any expectations either way. But Tabidze soon retreated into her apartment, refusing to speak to the media until anything was confirmed.

A team of homicide investigators arrived at Tabidze’s north Toronto apartment Friday morning to bring an end to years of waiting. Her only daughter had finally been found.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1143672--mariam-makhniashvili-sources-confirm-remains-found-last-week-are-those-of-missing-girl
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:30 am

A funeral was held in Toronto on Saturday for Mariam Makhniashvili,
the Toronto teen whose remains were discovered last month after she had
been missing for 2½ years.

The 17-year-old Georgian immigrant made national headlines after she disappeared in September of 2009.

Her remains were found in late February in a ravine near Yonge Street and Hwy. 401.

About 95 people were expected to attend the private ceremony,
including police officers from the local division that investigated her
disappearance, as well as the principal and choir from Forest Hill
Collegiate, the high school Mariam attended for only four days.

Rev. Jim McKnight said the search for Makhniashvili "seemed to draw the people of Toronto together quite closely."

Speaking before the service, he said that while the family may never
get closure, simply having the chance to honour Mariam can be "helpful."
'It speaks ... to our collective humanity'

Peggy
Aitchison, principal of Forest Hill Collegiate, said Friday that
Makhniashvili was "a wonderful student, a person who was highly
introspective and highly sensitive and very intuitive."

Aitchison said the school has a special bond with the girl whose story captured national attention.

"This young woman who went missing really was embraced by this city,
in terms of the care and concern and worry and so on," Aitchison said.

"I think it speaks a lot to our collective humanity in this country
that someone who is a stranger to the country, to people, that so many
people in the country…cared about her and wanted the best outcome for
her," she said.

Chris Parkin, a physical education teacher at Forest Hill Collegiate,
said Makhniashvili seemed to be a happy young girl with many interests
including literature and music.

"It was just nice, I think, for everyone and many of us who did not
really know her to hear about that happy childhood," he said after the
service.

"I think there's a sense with a lot of people that there's some closure…so there's a certain amount of relief with that."

Student Irving Castro said Makhniashvili has left her mark on the school even though her stay there was fleeting.

The service "was a little emotional, but we managed to get through," he said afterward.

Makhniashvili's father, Vakhtang Makhniashvili, was denied permission to attend the funeral.

He is serving a six-year jail term at Millhaven Penitentiary after
pleading guilty last year to three counts of aggravated assault after
two separate stabbing incidents, one involving a neighbour and the other
a couple who had posted his bail.
Strangers attend visitation

At
a visitation on Friday, a small but steady stream of mourners paid
their respects as they greeted Mariam's mother and brother — Lela
Tabidze and George Makhniashvili.

Mohammad Atieque showed up to pay his respects Friday despite never having met the young girl.

"Irrespective of the faith, irrespective of the race, we are Canadian. We support each other."

Mariam had been in Toronto only three months, and in school only four days, when she went missing on Sept. 14, 2009.

The case baffled authorities, despite numerous tips and reported sightings from as far away as Alberta.

The only real clue that emerged was the discovery of Mariam's
backpack and some school books in a parking lot not far from her school
the month after she went missing. Then, in late February, the skeletal
remains were discovered.

Police later confirmed the remains were Makhniashvili's and said foul play wasn't suspected.

While they wouldn't go as far as ruling her death a suicide, police have suggested she may have been depressed.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/03/24/toronto-missing-teen-makhniashvili-funeral.html
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Re: CANADA • Mariam MAKHNIASHVILI, 17 (9/2009) ~ Toronto ON

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