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Missing woman found safe

Friday, October 12, 2012

(Photo)
SUSITA DARJEE
A woman who was reported missing from Tyson Foods' parking lot late Wednesday night actually faked her own kidnapping, Shelbyville police say.

Susita Darjee, 23, was found safe with her family in Nashville at midday Thursday, Detective Sgt. Brian Crews said. No charges are expected, police said.

Major move

Darjee has apparently been trying to get out of a relationship for some time, leading to Wednesday night's events, Crews said.

She returned to her family despite recent fears of being taken away by them involuntarily, the detective said.

"She ran up to a Tyson employee in the parking lot asking for help but for them not to tell anyone where she went," Crews said. "She caught a ride away from the plant with some other employees."

The plot

Darjee was sitting by herself in a friend's truck earlier in the night and called saying she was afraid because someone was driving around the parking lot calling her name in a foreign language, the friend told officer Darrell Birdsong.

"Darjee laid down in the truck and hid because she was scared that her family was going to take her back to Nashville," Birdsong was told by the friend, with whom she had been living.

After several unanswered telephone calls, the friend came to Shelbyville police headquarters at 12:03 a.m. Thursday reporting a possible kidnapping, a report filed by officer Darrell Birdsong said.

Those calls were part of Darjee's plan to leave the relationship, Crews said.

Text tells story

Darjee took her passport from the truck's glove box but left behind her cell phone with an unsent text message visible, police said.

That unsent text was a key to police discovering Darjee's whereabouts, Crews said.

Darjee had been staying in the truck at the Tyson parking lot from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. for approximately a week, police were told, due to fears of being taken away from the friend's home by her family against her will. A neighbor who was "watching over her" had just moved, Crews said.

The friend is an employee of the chicken plant. Darjee is a former Tyson employee, Crews said.

Cultural gap

The friend said Darjee's father had been asking her to return to her family in Nashville due to disagreement over cultural issues, which was confirmed by Crews.

"We've been dealing with them for several months," Crews said. "The father has been calling us asking us to bring her back to them in Nashville. We told her she's 23 years old and we can't do that.

"She's become somewhat Americanized," Crews said.

Darjee, a native of Bhutan, had fled with her family to Nepal before legally emigrating to the United States. Crews said he thinks she is in the country as a participant in a work program.