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Shuster's office opens case on missing boy

August 27, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Shuster
Shuster

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster said Friday while touring Con-way Freight in Greencastle that his office has opened a case regarding missing 11-year-old Khalil Mohamed Atteya and is working through the State Department.

"It's a very difficult situation because Egypt does not participate in some of the international agreements," Shuster said. "So it's very difficult, and of course the turmoil in Egypt right now just compounds the problem."

He said his office is in contact with the State Department on a daily or weekly basis trying to get the issue resolved.

"It's a very tough situation, and as the father of two children my heart goes out to that mother. We hope the two parents can come together and work it out," Shuster said. "But it is very difficult and our thoughts and prayers are with the family."

It's been almost a month since Khalil, known by his family as Niko, was allegedly snatched from his mother while on a trip to Egypt.

Niko's aunt Olga Panagos is frustrated that there has been no news or developments in the case since Niko disappeared.

"Nothing has been going on and that's what is so frustrating," Panagos said earlier this week. "It's been three weeks since Niko was taken and it seems like we're no farther ahead than when we started."

The Fayetteville family's nightmare began when Niko, his mother, Kalliopi "Kalli" Atteya, and aunt Maria Panagos boarded a plane for Egypt to see Niko's noncustodial father.

On Aug. 1, the car that was transporting the boy's father, Mohamed Atteya, and the rest of the group pulled over for what Atteya claimed was car trouble, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Police said Niko remained in the car while the others exited. The father got back into the car, followed by Niko's mother.

When Niko's mother got back into the car, Atteya shoved her out of the car and ordered the driver to go, police said.

Police said Niko's mother and aunt were left along the road and Niko hasn't been seen since Aug. 1.

The community is rallying around Niko's family and holding a benefit for Niko on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fayetteville Fire Hall in Fayetteville, Pa.

The benefit will include an $8 dinner, prepared by Broadway Deli of Chambersburg, including homemade barbecued chicken, macaroni salad, baked beans, roll and drink. The event will also include a raffle, auction, face painting, moon bounce and more.

All proceeds will go toward legal fees and expenses in the effort to bring Niko home.

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