A young Saudi national facing charges stemming from a fatal hit-and-run incident in Oregon in 2016 removed a court's monitoring device last week and fled.
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, 21, was arrested last August and indicted for first-degree manslaughter, hit-and-run, reckless endangerment and reckless driving after allegedly killing 15-year-old Fallon Smart in Portland.
However, on Sept. 11, 2016 – what would have marked Fallon’s 16th birthday – Noorah's $100,000 bond was posted by the consulate of Saudi Arabia, according to court records. Earlier this month, police say Noorah removed his monitoring device bracelet and his current whereabouts are now unknown.
He is depicted as being Saudi Arabian, 150 pounds and 6 feet tall and was last seen near the Southeast 106th Avenue and Division of Portland. Investigators are said to be concerned that Noorah poses mental health issues and are offering a reward for information leading to his whereabouts.
Noorah, a Saudi national who had been in Oregon since 2014 and enrolled at Portland Community College, was awaiting trial on charges that he struck and killed the young teenage girl while speeding down Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, before running and later returning to the scene. Her relatives have called the latest development in the case as having broken “(their) hearts again.”
Shane Smart, Fallon's uncle, expressed his anger in a Facebook post.
"From Day 1, our family objected to a bail because of things known about Abdulrahman Noorah that made us believe he was a flight risk," Shane Smart wrote on Facebook. "The deputy district attorney representing the state's case against Abdulrahman Noorah expressed our objection of allowing a bail and house arrest to the presiding Judge."
Local reports also unveiled last week that Noorah was already considered to be a high flight risk, but authorities had no power to prevent him from fleeing due to Oregon bail legislation and the entanglement of a foreign government.
The Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles, which reportedly paid the bail and hired two prominent criminal defense lawyers to represent him, has yet to comment on the matter.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has on several occasions made bail for its nationals – including for a man accused of rape in Utah in 2015, who also fled and was subsequently convicted, and for a Missouri resident in 2013 who was accused but later acquitted of murdering a bar owner. That same year the government put up the $5 million bail for a Saudi princess charged with human trafficking in California, yet those charges, too, were let go.