July 7, 2004 (Wednesday)
Elbasan Street Market
Alternative Name: Unknown
Missing from: Elbasan, Elbasan, Albania
Date Missing: July 7, 2004 (Wednesday)
Taken By: Unknown
Nine-year-old Artur was one of five children from a relatively poor family in Albania. The father (Jakupi Carja) was a migrant worker who often went to Greece to pick up work (Shqiptarja).
To help raise money, Artur and his older brother Blerimi (12 yo) would sell plastic bags in the local street market.
Typically, they would leave home early in the morning and worth until noon. After lunch, they would start up again until around 4:00pm (16:00) when they would return home.
July 7 dawned as a usual day, leaving the family with no idea that their lives were about to be changed for the worse.
Blerimi and Artur both headed towards the market and started their sales. At some point that morning, they were able to meet their grandmother who chatted with them for a bit. As usual, they met up for lunch when the temperature got too high and their hunger overtook them.
Although usually they stuck together, this time Blerim had finished a little earlier and waiting elsewhere for Artur to sell the last of his bags. He didn’t see Artur anywhere and finally headed home expecting to meet Artur there.
But as time passed, Artur never appeared. Nor was he at the home of any extended family.
He has not been seen since.
There were suspicions he may have been trafficked into neighboring Greece, a common route for kidnappers to take at the time (Balkaneu). These suspicions were furthered when a female witness testified she saw Artur with an unknown man. The man had a bag of food that he put in the trunk, and some sources suggest Artur was also seen in the vehicle (Balkaneu).
There was a possible sighting in Thessaloniki, Greece but it has not been substantiated (Shqiptarja).
A child’s body (male, 10 y/o) was discovered on the Greece-Macedonia border which was originally thought to be Artur. But nothing seems to have come from that finding (Shqiptarja).
In 2005, Ahmet Bala (Former Chief of Police in Elbasan) reportedly told journalists he know Artur was still alive and where he was, but that an on-going investigation kept him from publishing the details. If true, it has been far too long since then for them not to have published that information.
In 2013, a man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering another child in the area was arrested and some suggested he may have been linked to Carja’s case. The suspect (Ardian Prrenjasi) was familiar with the family but has never been positively linked to the case (Sot.com).
January 2020, Blerim Carja issued a notice to the media and the public asking again for help finding his brother. He accused police and the government of not offering enough help in the search and seeks information that may help.
Sources are not consistent on whether he disappeared on the 7th (Interpol) or the 9th (Missing Madeleine). But most of the official or more familiar sources (Interpol, Global Missing Kids, Albanian newspapers) list the day as July 7th.
- Date of Birth: 1995
- Age at Disappearance: 9
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
- Nationality: Albania
- Gender at Birth: Male
- Hair: Dark (probably Brunette)
- Eye Color: Dark (probably Brown)
- Height: 4’3″
Distinguishing Marks or Factors
- Burn mark on his left cheek
- Mole on left shoulder
- Mole on left side of his eyebrow
If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:
- Albanian National Helpline for Missing Children at 116000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Albanian State Police at email@example.com or (69) 413 – 4770
- ‘Artur Carja. . . Albania’, Missing Madeleine, Link
- Balkaneu (2015) ‘Albanian lost children’, 26 May. Link.
- Shqiptarja (2018) ‘Elbasan/ 9-vjecari Artur Carja i zhdukur që prej 2004, kërkohet nga familja në ‘Pa gjurmë”, 14 December. Link
- Top News (2020) ‘Brother appeals to brother’, 16 January. Link
- S., Alma. (2020) ‘U zhduk që 9 vjeç pa lënë gjurmë, vëllai i Arturit rrëqeth me fjalët: Sot mbush 25 vjeç, dua t’i uroj ditëlindjen…’, QC Nouvelles, 12 August. Link
- Sot.com (2013) ‘Një tjetër akuzë për pedofilin Prrenjasi, misterioze zhdukja e 9 vjeçarit’, 23 March. Link