EXCLUSIVE: Missing teen's father denies abuse allegations, desperate to find daughter

Missing teen Maarib Hishmawi

SAN ANTONIO - Sixteen-year-old Maarib Al Hishmawi hasn't been seen since January 30th.

"Please help me. Every time we go into her room, we cry," said Abdulah Hishmawi, the teen's father.

Both the Bexar County Sheriff's Office and FBI are investigating Maarib's disapperance.

"There may be physical abuse involved in her family, and I cannot speculate on who or where," said authorities.

Hishmawi denies the abuse allegations surrounding his only daughter.

"Nobody abused my daughter," Hishmawi said he did tell police about a possible arranged marriage in the works between Maarib and a family friend from Dallas. The teen's father says the man is around 25 years old and first meet the family last May when Maarib was 15 years old.

"He never touched her. He never go to her room. She never go to where he live in Dallas. I have nothing to hide. I'm not scared about this. My daughter and this guy - we help those together to build a family, " he added.

Hishmawi says he was never going to force his daughter to marry the family friend, but if she agreed, he would give his parental permission through the courts to do so. Marriage or not, Hishmaw doesn't believe that's the reason his daughter is missing.

Hishmawi moved his family from Iraq to San Antonio more than two years ago.

News release from Bexar County Sheriff's Office...

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the San Antonio Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are seeking information from the public about the disappearance of Maarib Al Hishmawi, a 16-year-old female high school student who was last seen on Jan. 30, 2018.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation shortly after Maarib’s disappearance. The FBI has now joined in the search for Maarib and the two agencies are pursuing the matter as a joint investigation.
Maarib is described as 5’5”, 150lbs, with light complexion, black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 leaving William Howard Taft High School at 11600 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas. Maarib may have been wearing jeans, a white jacket with black piping, light colored pump style heels, and a black and white floral hijab (headscarf) which covered her head and neck.
It is important to note, the investigation has revealed allegations that Maarib was physically abused by someone she knew. Authorities are therefore not only focused on recovering Maarib, but also on ensuring that she is in a safe environment.

Anyone with information about Maarib is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP (7867). Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. Anyone providing information may remain anonymous.

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