Cecilia Zhang

Cecilia ZhangThree months after disappearing from her family's North York home, Cecilia Zhang is still missing.

Last night at midnight, the bulk of the privately-raised $165,000 reward money for her safe return was taken off the table. This follows the Toronto Police Department's announcement that they've ruled out money as the motive for Cecilia's abduction.

Because Cecilia and her family emigrated from China, I had always hoped in the back of my mind that she was abducted for ransom. From what I've read, kidnapping for profit is not unheard of within the Chinese community. With money as the motive, the likelihood of Cecilia being returned unharmed greatly improves.

I assume the reward money was withdrawn because of the fear the abductors may hold out while the pot gets bigger and bigger. Why cash in for $165,000 if you can wait another couple of months and cash in for much more. There is some logic to this decision. Still, I cling to this belief that Cecilia's kidnappers want something in exchange for her safe return. If it's not money, what is it? Why haven't they contacted the family or police? Unfortunately, the many questions vastly out number the few answers.

Simon & Garfunkel's 1969 hit "Cecilia", for which Ceclilia Zhang was named, opens with the following lyric:

Cecilia, you're breaking my heart
You're shaking my confidence daily
Oh Cecilia, I'm down on my knees
I'm begging you please to come home


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