A 43-year-old male is still missing after being kidnapped at gunpoint on the country's main intercity highway late last week, it has come to light.
According to police reports released on Tuesday, days after the incident, a man and a woman driving from their home in central Estonia to Tallinn on the night of December 5, had their vehicle stopped by an unidentified SUV around 45 kilometers from the capital. One of the two people in the car was shot and left at the scene. The other was taken away.
The woman, 40, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest but cannot explain how it happened, said Paide County District Prosecutor Merike Lugna, adding: "Her recollections of the events are sketchy and she couldn't recall the shooting at all."
The woman went to the local hospital at 6:00 in the morning and it was the hospital that reported the gunshot wound to the police. The woman remains in the hospital but her life is not in danger.
Margus Sass, head of the West Prefecture's department dealing with organized and serious crimes said that, according to the female victim, their car was stopped by "non-violent means." The victim theorized that the car in front suffered a mechanical problem. The abducted man, Kajar Paas, was allegedly not hurt during the abduction and there were at least two perpetrators involved.
"Police are treating this incident with all seriousness and investigating different versions of what might have happened. We cannot, based on the information known to us, rule out that the kidnapped man may have known the people who abducted him. I can assure that Tallinn-Tartu highway is safe and there is no reason to fear a random attack," Sass said.
He also said that they currently only have the female victim's statement to go on. As it stands, they cannot even be sure that the shooting took place on the highway.
Paas does not have criminal convictions on his record.
The police asks anybody who might have witnessed the incident to call +372 513 5441 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
43-year-old Kajar Paas, who was abducted at gunpoint on December 5 and is still missing (Photo: Police and Border Guard Board)