Published September 14, 2011
Former Whitehouse gatecrasher and "Real Housewives of D.C." star Tareq Salahi says his wife Michaele Salahi was kidnapped in Virginia yesterday, while police maintain that she has left on her own free will.
In an interview with TMZ, Salahi said he last saw Michaele at their home around 11 a.m. EST yesterday, right before he left to go to their winery. The former Bravo reality star said she was on her way to a hair appointment, but never showed up and has been missing ever since.
Salahi claims he got a phone call from Michaele late Tuesday from an Oregon cell phone number, where she said she was going to her mother's home nearby.
But Salahi said he was suspicious and called his mother-in-law, who told him she hadn't spoken with Michaele and was unaware of her plans. Fearing she had been abducted, he told TMZ he called the Warren Country Sheriff's Dept. to report it.
According to TMZ, Salahi claims authorities told him that Michaele had already contacted them to warn that she was fine and was simply working out some "family issues."
The WCSD confirmed in a statement that they received a call from Salahi on Tuesday night shortly before midnight saying that Salahi advised the department that he had last heard from his wife six hours before the phone call and was concerned because she had contacted him from an Oregon area code when she was supposed to be back in Northern Virginia.
WCSD said Deputy Mike Glavis then spoke with Michaele a few moments after the phone call from Salahi. Deputy Glavis was able to identify Michaele by having had previous conversations with her. According to the statement Michaele seemed calm, was engaged in conversation, and assured the deputy that she had left the residence with a good friend and was where she wanted to be. She then advised that she did not want her husband to know where she was.
She apologized that the Sherriff's Office had to be involved, and said she did not want to be home.
Deputy Glavis then contacted Salahi and told him that he had spoken with Michaele and she was fine.
Later Wednesday TMZ reported that Michaele had run off to be with Neal Schon, the lead guitarist for Journey. TMZ reports that the pair have been dating, and she went to his show in Nashville last night, and is currently with him in Memphis where Journey is set to perform with Foreigner.
Journey's rep, Scoop Market confirmed to TMZ that "nobody kidnapped her and they are in Memphis together."
Salahi says he believes his wife's alleged abductor forced her to make the phone calls, adding that he was very nervous in light of death threats that the couple had previously received.
Now, he says he is looking into contacting other authorities after the Warren Country Sheriff's response.
The WCSD has said they are working with the FBI to make additional contact with Michaele to assure her well being, and have been in contact with her friends and family.
Salahi later issued a statement saying, "We are reaching to the public pleading [sic] desperately for your help."
He continues, "It is our belief as of last night, that Michaele Salahi may have been kidnapped or abducted and being held under duress and forced to tell persons, including authorities she is okay."
"We are asking the public to please be on the look out for her, and if found please contact the authorities and please approach her and contact the authorities to intervene and that she may be forced to say she is okay, when in fact she is not and being held under possible abduction."
TMZ contributed to this report.