Police release details of Marlborough Park murder as family mourns loss

Apr 19 2018, 4:30 pm

Nadia El-Dib died in the early hours of March 25 at the hands of 21-year-old Adam Bettahar.

Police found the 22-year-old woman’s body hours later in a Marlborough Park backyard, by which time Bettahar had fled the city. He was found in northern Alberta four days later. He led police on a chase that ended with Bettahar being shot and killed.

The investigation into Nadia’s murder has concluded, with police ruling her death as a domestic homicide. Bettahar was charged with first-degree murder in the days following Nadia’s death.

At the request of Nadia’s family, the Calgary Police Service has released the details.

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Readers should be warned that the details are graphic in nature before continuing through the rest of the article. 

Investigators discovered that on March 10, 15 days before Nadia would be murdered, Bettahar had purchased a semi-automatic rifle.

It is the belief of the Calgary Police Service that Nadia and Bettahar left a downtown shisha bar at around 3 am. An hour later, Nadia contacted a friend expressing frustration that Bettahar would not return her to her vehicle, which was parked close to the bar.


Abderrahmane (Adam) Bettahar is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant (Calgary Police Service)

Bettahar instead drove Nadia and himself behind a house on Maitland Drive NE, where at approximately 4:15 am he stopped the car, stabbed Nadia approximately 40 times, and cut her throat.

Nadia managed to escape the vehicle despite her injuries, but was then shot. Police believe from video evidence that a second shot was fired at Nadia as she lay on the ground.

Investigators determined that Bettahar and Nadia had been seeing each other in late 2017, and while they were not in a relationship at the time of the murder, it is still being considered a domestic homicide.

Nadia’s sister Racha spoke at a CPS press conference on Wednesday.

“My best friend and sister [died] the hands of a disturbed young man, who believed he had the right to murder her because she chose to exercise her right to take ownership of her life, body, and soul, by saying no to a man who was persistent [about] being with her,” Racha said.

“He, and he alone, was the cause of Nadia’s death.”

“She was a strong young woman who fought and refused a man, and that decision alone resulted in her death. Women live in fear for their lives every day of the repercussions of refusing a man.”

“We are taught to give fake numbers, to use the excuses of already having a significant other, and other methods to refuse a man, in case no just doesn’t mean no. These methods are too often not enough to get a man to leave you alone, or even to avoid being subject to domestic violence.”

“As women in society, we are too often told to carry a whistle by our parents or by our friends, so that we may protect ourselves. I am here to use Nadia’s voice to give strength to those who have been in similar situations, to those who are in mentally, physically, or emotionally abusive situations, so that they can find the strength to reach out. Even if it’s not to someone you know, reach out to anybody, to find that courage and seek help.”


Nadia El-Dib/Facebook

The release from the Calgary Police Department states that the amount of domestic conflict calls increased by 6% last year, to a total of 18,526. Of those, 4,975 were classified as domestic violence, a 45% increase from the five-year average.

“Adam has broken our family. There will forever be something missing in our lives. He has hurt us, as well as everyone touched by the story. We want to turn this around and make a bigger impact on society, one that will help others,” Racha said.

“This is also a message to friends and family, to open your minds and hearts to those who do reach out to you, and to see the signs in your own family or your friends’ relationships, so that their story doesn’t end like Nadia’s.”

The Calgary Police Service stated in their release that they encourage anyone experiencing domestic violence or abuse to reach out for help, and urges those people to contact agencies such as the Family & Sexual Abuse Network at 403 -237-5888 (Toll Free: 1-877-237-5888), the 24-hour Family Violence Helpline at 403-234-SAFE (7233), or 211, and to call 9-1-1 right away if they are in immediate danger.

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