Friends and relatives of a missing Canadian woman linked to a former Hicksville man said she was the "backbone" of the family and that she intended to marry the man now sought as a person of interest in her disappearance, according to a report.
But Toronto police said this week that they fear the worst about Hatice Corbacioglu, 33, who was dating former Hicksville resident Riza Cosa, 29.
"I have a bad feeling," Aysel Corbacioglu told Canwest News Service in a story published Monday in the Montreal Gazette. "I believe she is not alive."
Hatice Corbacioglu and Cosa's wife, Winsome Angela Perez, 45, of Hicksville, were reported missing last summer within two weeks of each other.
Perez's decomposing body was found in a plastic bag earlier this month in New Cassel. Police are searching for Cosa, who they describe as a person of interest in both cases.
He was last seen arriving in Turkey on July 31 after flying there on a one-way ticket, Canadian police said.
Hatice Corbacioglu met Cosa in early 2009 at a New Year's party, Toronto police said. She thought she had met the man of her dreams, family and friends said.
Stacey Davis, the case detective in Toronto, told Newsday that Corbacioglu thought Cosa was separated from his wife.
Cosa told Corbacioglu that they were getting a divorce, her best friend, Nevruz Acikgos, told Canwest.
Corbacioglu, who crossed the Canadian border into New York on June 15 to visit Cosa, was reported missing Aug. 13, Canadian authorities said, about two weeks after Perez was last reported alive at the Wantagh bank where she worked.
In a series of phone calls with a Turkish-speaking Toronto police officer, Cosa claimed he'd gone home for compulsory army service, and said his wife may have taken a vacation, visited her mother in Florida or gone to a casino, Toronto police said.
"He gave us a million - well, three - different excuses of where she might be," Davis said.
His excuses all appeared to be false, and he stopped answering his cell phone around Christmas, Davis said.
Through Interpol, Cosa's family said they don't know where he is, Davis said.
Since her disappearance, Corbacioglu's Facebook profile, phone and bank accounts haven't been used, police said.
Whenever Corbacioglu would visit the United States for previous trips, she'd always contact her family once a day, Davis said.
Corbacioglu, who is a Canadian citizen of Turkish descent, visited the Turkish consulate in Manhattan on June 18, Davis said.
Then, on July 29, a day after Perez was last seen alive, Corbacioglu's beige 2007 Toyota Corolla was ticketed for being parked in front of a fire hydrant on East 92nd Street, Davis said.
Cosa also had a job as a metalworker at a site near 92nd Street, she said.
The car was found Nov. 25 parked at Kennedy Airport.
Corbacioglu's family and best friend reported her missing Aug. 13, said Davis, of Toronto's Youth Bureau and Missing Persons section.
Family and friends told Canwest that Corbacioglu, a forklift operator at a Toronto rubber plant, would not disappear and that she was the "backbone" of her family.
Her father has traveled twice to Turkey and New York, passing out posters with information about his daughter and Cosa, Canwest said.
Her parents "can't sleep. They can't eat properly," Aysel Corbacioglu told Canwest. "Every day, we talk about her."