Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Though this certainly sounds bizarre enough to invoke speculation of those two dreaded, eye-rolling words—publicity stunt—for now, it's probably best to take Tareq Salahi at his word.
"It is our belief as of last night, Michaele Salahi may have been kidnapped or abducted and is being held under duress and forced to tell persons, including authorities, she is OK," manager Gina Rodriguez said.
"ALERT!! URGENT! MICHAELE SALAHI MISSING!" read the first of many tweets RT'd by Tareq—and originally sent out by his former porn star publicist.
"RHODC star is MISSING, Please RT, if u know any details please contact Virginia Police Dept or missing@MichaeleSalahi.com... Michaele Salahi was last seen wearing a Baby Blue T-shirt dress with a silver glitter dolphin on the front and back thongs. #KIDNAPPED."
As for more formal inquiries, Tareq, who says he last saw his wife—who has been no stranger to receiving death threats in the past—yesterday morning at 11 a.m., sounded the alarm to authorities last night informing the Warren County Sheriff's Office that he believed his wife had been abducted, after receiving a suspicious phone call from an otherwise MIA Michaele.
He came to this conclusion, after Michaele missed an appointment to get her hair done.
Last night, according to authorities, Tareq said he received a phone call from Michaele from an unrecognizable cell phone number with an Oregon area code, and she informed him she was going to her mother's house, located very near the Salahi's home. Concerned, he called her mother, who said she hadn't spoken to her daughter and had no knowledge of the plan.
This is when Tareq phoned the sheriff's department. According to him, a department representative claimed that, rather bizarrely, the sheriff had already received a preemptive phone call from Michaele informing them she was simply dealing with family issues.
Not believing that his wife would simply phone the sheriffs out of the blue to inform them of whatever situation she was going through, Tareq believes that his wife's abductors were forcing her to make those calls.
Tareq told TMZ that his fears were not being taken seriously by the agency—who has yet to return comment to E! News—and is considering going to other law enforcement.
"We are reaching to the public pleaing desperately for your help," he said in a statement. "We are asking the public to please be on the lookout for her, and if found please approach her and contact the authorities to intervene and that she may be forced to say she is OK, when in fact she is not and being held under possible abduction."
"The Warren County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are currently working together in an attempt to make additional contact with Mrs. Salahi to assure her well being," read a statement from Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron. "We have been in contact with her friends and family."
(Originally published Sept. 14, 2011, at 12:27 p.m. PT)