The husband of missing Georgia woman Wazineh Suleiman described their relationship as "perfect," but court documents show the couple is in deep financial trouble.
The couple is more than half a million dollars in debt to more than 50 creditors, according to a federal bankruptcy court . They filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in August, the court documents show.
Wazineh Suleiman disappeared Friday after exchanging heated text messages with husband Abed Suleiman, police said. Police Tuesday found Wazineh Suleiman's abandoned SUV in an empty parking lot 12 miles from the Walmart where, her husband said, she went to rent a movie Friday night and never returned.
Abed Suleiman had gone to Kentucky Friday on a hunting trip with a friend but returned to Georgia when he realized he'd confused the dates for when hunting season begins, he said.
"I pulled into the driveway and my buddy said, 'Hey, your wife's truck is not there.' I look over and my jaw just dropped," Suleiman said Tuesday. "I was in shock. That doesn't make sense. She just doesn't leave without telling me."
He said he found his kids watching television. The eldest child, he said, told him that Wazineh Suleiman, 30, had left to rent a movie at Walmart. Suleiman is not a suspect in his wife's disappearance, police said.
"Anybody that know us, a lot of people look at us and say these guys are a perfect couple and a perfect family," he said.
Bankruptcy court documents show the Suleimans were behind on mortgage payments on two rental homes in Florida and another in Georgia. They moved from Florida to Cartersville, Ga., about two years ago, police said.
When they filed for bankruptcy August 11, 2010, the couple said they had made a little more $29,000 that year in income. The couple claimed they owned assets worth more than $600,000 but owed creditors $1,242,280.22, according to court documents.
Liens had been placed against their home and one of their vehicles, the documents show. Abed Suleiman has worked as a pharmacist, according to his Facebook page.
Bartow County law enforcement officials are treating the case of Wazineh Suleiman's disappearance as that of a missing endangered person.
"We're still treating it as a missing endangered persons case ... she might have left on her own," County Sheriff Clark Millsap said. "We hope that's what happened but until we can substantiate that, then we have to look at it as it may have escalated on up to something beside a missing endangered person."
Millsap said that in his personal law enforcement opinion, he doesn't believe that Suleiman left on her own.
"It's dealing with a 30-year-old woman that kind of stepped away from five kids and then we found her vehicle abandoned yesterday so it escalates a little bit more than just a missing endangered person," he said.
Police are pulling surveillance video to see whether Suleiman ever entered the Walmart or whether her car was ever parked in its lot. "There are too many questions that we've got to answer and we're going to take every avenue that we can to try to get our answers," Millsap said.
Abed Suleiman told police that he and his wife had exchanged heated text messages the day of her disappearance. In one text message, Wazineh Suleiman threatened to throw her phone out the window, Abed Suleiman told police.
No History of Domestic Violence
"That was his statement about one text message that he had received," Millsap said. "We're looking into that to see if we can corroborate that and substantiate it and just to see what the exact content of all the text messages were that night."
Abed Suleiman is not a suspect in his wife's disappearance, police said.
"We don't have any evidence to show that at this time," Millsap said. "He's not a suspect. He's not a person of interest. ... If we come across something like that, of course, we will pursue it."
Wazineh Suleiman is a devout Muslim who usually wears a head scarf. Her husband has used images of her with no headscarf in missing person posters, hoping someone will recognize her. He said she would not have left on her own.
Police said they hope to talk today to the couple's five children and the friend who accompanied Abed Suleiman on the hunting trip to Kentucky.
There is no history of domestic violence between the couple while they've lived in Bartow County, police said. The couple moved from Florida to Georgia about two years ago, police said.