An American woman stabbed to death in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall by an assailant wearing a body-covering abayah was a kindergarten teacher who had been mentoring other teachers.
The victim was identified as Ibolya Ryan, who was from Colorado and was the mother of 11-year-old twins, according to the Footprints Recruiting firm that had placed her in the position.
Ryan, who was originally from Hungary, was a licensed special ed teacher from Colorado. She was hired her as a kindergarten teacher in Abu Dhabi in 2013, Footprints Recruiting CEO Ben Glickman told ABC News.
Glickman said that Ryan loved living the United Arab Emirates and was mentoring other teachers.
Abu Dhabi police released surveillance video showing the suspected attacker wearing the Arabian Gulf’s traditional black abayah or robe, fully covered by a face veil.
The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued a warning on Oct. 29 to U.S. citizens about an anonymous web posting that urged attacks against American teachers, but noted no specific threats.
The surveillance cameras' eerie images show the culprit entering the mall on Dec. 1 as well as the crime scene. In the video, the weapon shown appears to be a large kitchen knife. The surveillance video ends with onlookers pointing at the suspect and trying to stop the person, who fled to an elevator and left the mall.
"The injured woman was immediately rushed to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City where she succumbed to the wounds she sustained in the attack," Abu Dhabi’s police department said in a statement.
CCTV footage of the suspect, dubbed the “Reem Island Ghost” http://t.co/6NxPYHn6vM— MOI_UAE (@AbuDhabiPolice) December 3, 2014
According to Col. Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Abu Dhabi Police, Ryan was stabbed with "a sharp tool." There was no word on what led to the attack in the women’s restroom.
"The police are investigating to uncover the crime’s causes and motives and to arrest the culprit," the colonel said. Police are taking care of the victim’s 11-year-old twins. "The Community Police will be providing the children with shelter and other needs pending the arrival of their father (the victim’s ex-husband) from abroad. The father will be received by the Community Police, who will also cater to the needs of the victim’s family.”
The colonel expressed his profound regret over the crime. “The Abu Dhabi Police will spare no effort in order to unveil this heinous crime and bring the culprit to justice,” he added in the statement.
A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said: "We have seen the reports that a U.S. citizen woman was murdered. We offer our condolences to those affected by this terrible tragedy. Out of respect for the privacy of those affected, we have no further comment."
According to the U.S. State Department, in the UAE "violent criminal acts are very rare, and most often occur in the third country national (TCN) communities."
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