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Police search and find no evidence of buried remains in Detroit restaurant basement

Posted at 7:37 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 19:37:13-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It was a story that made international headlines. In 2001 a beautiful mom went missing and her husband fled the country. Since, Auburn Hills Police have been working to find answers for the family of Rita Gjergjaj.

On Friday the search brought them to Galaxy Coney Island in Detroit.

Police say they followed a tip and searched, digging under the concrete in the basement of this Galaxy Coney Island in Detroit. It is owned by blood relatives of Rita’s husband Kola Gjergjaj.

Police say after a thorough search they found no evidence Rita was ever buried there.

Police say Kola fled to Kosovo the day after his wife’s disappearance. He was in Kosovo until 2019 when his extradition to the United States for the murder of his wife was approved. He committed suicide in his jail cell in Kosovo.

“I want to thank the owner in this matter. He was cooperative in this process. There were no remains found in this process,” said Dep. Chief Ryan Gagnon, of the Auburn Hills Police Department.

7 Action News spoke to a man who was seventeen when his Aunt Rita, who he says he loved very much, went missing. He helps run the business with his family.

He says they knew nothing would be found, but they cooperated with investigators.

“I want closure for everybody. She has two young kids who I love very much. I want them to know what happened, but I don’t have the answers for them,” said Peter Gjergjaj.