A Norwegian real estate tycoon, whose wife was allegedly abducted with kidnappers demanding $10 million in exchange for her life, received a message from someone “in control of” her, his lawyer said.
Svein Holden, the lawyer for Tom Hagen, a real estate investor and owner of power facilities, said Thursday that the letter was received on Jan. 16, but it “didn’t include a sign” that Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who went missing since Oct. 31, remains alive.
He said the letter arrived digitally, but didn’t provide further information. Police declined to comment.
Earlier this month, authorities said the suspected kidnappers left a note in the couple’s house near the capital Oslo that detailed the fatal consequences if Hagen – one of the wealthiest people in Norway, boasting a total wealth of about $2 billion Norwegian krone ($200 million) – refused to pay the ransom.
Media reports indicated that the ransom was $10.3 million (9 million Euros). The note reportedly said the wife would be killed if police were involved.
Chief investigator Tommy Broeske said earlier that “the threats (in the note) were of a very serious character,” but cautioned that the police have no evidence whether she’s alive or not.
He also urged the family not to pay the ransom money and said that the people behind the kidnapping “have chosen to communicate digitally and we have had no other type of contact.”
Norwegian authorities are working together with Europol and Interpol on the case. Police said the woman disappeared about 31 miles from the Swedish border.
“Our main theory is that the victim was kidnapped by unidentified perpetrators at her home,” Broeske said during a news conference, adding that police investigated several possible theories of the disappearance.
The authorities said they went public with the case to encourage anyone with any information about the kidnapping to come forward.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.