Aref Ismaili is an Endangered Missing Child

April 4, 2016 (Monday)

City Park, Wanfried, Hesse, Germany


Aref Ismaili

HTML Button Generator

Nickname: Unknown
Alternative Name: Unknown

Spitzname: Unbekannt
Alternative Namen: Unbek

Disappearance (Verschwindens)

Missing from: Wanfried, Hesse, Germany
Date Missing: April 4, 2016 (Monday)
Suspects: There are two suspects (a man and a woman)

Ort des Verschwindens: Wanfried, Hessen, Deutschland
Datum des Verschwindens: April 2016 (Montag)
Der Verdächtige: Es gibt zwei Verdächtige. Ein Mann und eine Frau.

Circumstances (die Umstände):

Aref, a four-year-old child refugee from Afghanistan, was living with his parents and three siblings in a refugee shelter in Wanfried, Germany. He was a friendly child who often played at a small city park along the Werra River near the shelter.

Aref Ismaili (4yr) with Family

On April 4, the siblings were playing at the park, and Aref was playing on his tricycle in the direction of the river. Approximately 6:30pm (18:30), his mother (Mozhda Ismaili) looked but Aref had vanished. His mother suspected he had simply gone back to the shelter as he sometimes would make the trip alone. He was very independent and would occasionally ride ahead of the family.

Upon arriving back, his mother found that Aref had not come home either and called the police around 8:30pm (20:30). Initial conclusions were that Aref had accidentally drowned in the Werra River. However searches turned up nothing, and police now believe this assumption was mistaken.

Later, people reported that a mysterious black SUV (BMW X3 or X5) with Berlin plates had been driving through the area (including near the park) that day and had been parked at the refugee shelter earlier. In the car were two suspects:

  • Male, Caucasian, 60-70 yr, curly white hair (bald on top), distinctive hooked nose (see police sketch below)
  • Female, Caucasian, 30-40 yr, dark blonde hair to her buttocks, thin, short (4’11” – 5’4″). She was dressed in leggings and a skirt.

One witness reported seeing a child fitting Aref’s description with an older man in Berlin (250mi away), but this report is unconfirmed.


Aref Islamili ➜ Missing 2016 from a city park in Wanfried, Hesse, Germany. Refugee child (4yo) from Afghanistan. Suspects are older man and younger, blonde female in a Black BMW SUV. #truecrimecommunity #truecrimestory #truecrimetiktok #TrueCrime

♬ original sound – thesuitcasedetective

Description (Beschreibung)

Date of Birth: August 14, 2011
Age at Disappearance: 4
Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Nationality: Afghanistan
Gender at Birth: Male
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Black
Height: 3’3″ (100cm)

Geburtsdatum: 14. August 2011
Alter zum Zeitpunkt des Verschwindens: 4
Volkszugehörigkeit: Naher Osten
Nationalität: Afghanistan
Geschlecht: Männlich
Haarfarbe: Schwarzes Haar
Augenfarbe: Schwarz
Höhe: 3’3″ (100cm)

Distinguishing Features (Unterscheidungsmerkmale)

  • Unknown
  • Unbekannt

Clothing (Kleidung)

  • Green Shirt
  • Dark Trousers
  • Grünes Shirt
  • Dunkle Hosen

Suspects (Der Verdächtige)

There are two suspects, a man and woman who were together in a Black SUV with Berlin License Plates parked outside the refugee center.

  • Male, Caucasian, 60-70 yr, curly white hair (bald on top), distinctive hooked nose
  • Female, Caucasian, 30-40 yr, dark blonde hair to her buttocks, thin, short (4’11” – 5’4″). She was dressed in leggings and a skirt.

Hier sind zwei Verdächtige, ein Mann und eine Frau, die zusammen in einem schwarzen SUV mit Berliner Nummernschildern vor dem Flüchtlingszentrum geparkt waren.

  • Männlich, Kaukasier, 60-70 Jahre, lockiges weißes Haar (oben kahl), markante Hakennase.
  • Weiblich, Kaukasier, 30-40 Jahre, dunkelblondes Haar bis zum Gesäß, dünn, kurz (4’11” – 5’4″). Sie trug Leggings und einen Rock.
Police Sketch

Vehicle (Fahrzeug)

  • Black SUV (BMW X3 or X5) with Berlin license plates
  • Schwarzes SUV (BMW X3 oder X5) mit Berliner Nummernschild
Similar SUV

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:

Or use the QR Code (right) to find contact information for the National Police.

Follow us now for more mysterious reviews, stories, and recommendations!

HTML Button Generator
HTML Button Generator
HTML Button Generator


  • F.R.E.D.I. (2016) ‘Aref Ismaili’, Foundation pour la Recherche d’Enfants Disparus, International. Available from Link.
  • Focus (2016) ‘Hoffnung auf neue Hinweise: Polizei sucht nach Berliner Fahrzeug’, 22 April. Available from: Link
  • RTL Hessen (2018) ‘5-jähriger Aref aus Wanfried vermisst’, 21 March. Available from: Link
  • BZ Berlin (2016) ‘Fünfjähriger vermisst – BMW mit Berliner Kennzeichen gesucht’, 22 April. Available from: Link
  • Focus (2016) ‘Suche nach Aref geht weiter – Ermittler hoffen auf Aktenzeichen XY’, 11 June. Available from: Link
  • HNA (2016) ‘Wurde vermisster Aref entführt? Polizei folgt jetzt zwei Hinweisen’, 30 June. Available from: Link
  • u/444jojo555 (2018) ‘Aref, 5, disappeared from a playground in a small German town in April 2016 and hasn’t been seen since’ in “r/Unsolved Mysteries” under Available from: Link
  • Wüstenberg, D. (2017) ‘Seit 16 Monaten verschwunden: Wo ist der kleine Aref?’, Stern, 1 August. Available from: Link
  • Seher, D. (2019) ‘Die Liste der vermissten Teenager ist lang’, t-online, 9 March. Available from: Link
  • Frankfurter Neue Presse (2016) ‘Neue Hoffnung auch im Fall des verschwundenen Aref’, FNP, 1 July. Available from: Link
  • Bild (2018) ‘Aref Ismaili (7) aus Wanfried’, 23 August. Available from: Link


The information offered through our Services is general information only. We make every effort to maintain the database and ensure the data is up-to-date and correct. However, we make no warranties or promises regarding the accuracy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of the data herein. Data is gathered primarily from NGOs, new articles, and Charity postings. This information is not intended for reliance. Under no circumstances will The Suitcase Detective or its owners & operators be liable for any problems that may result from using or reading this information. Continued use of our Services serves as evidence that you approve our Privacy Policies and Terms & Conditions.

Please do NOT copy and paste text from our blog articles. We request that readers be directed to our site instead. This allows us to ensure out-of-date information is not being shared and that readers can access the reference list. If you would like to share a story, you can either use the social media buttons or share a link to this page. The images you are welcome to share.

Last Updated: June 19, 2023

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.