When speaking with Asha, Lul had learned that she received a visit from Minnesota State Rep. Hodan Hassan. Before Hodan reached out to Ridwan’s mother, there seemed to be no traction on the investigation. According to Lul, once Hodan had come into the picture, they put a detective on the case.
The Minneapolis Police Department describes the investigation as “open and active.” Detective Stacy Braun has been assigned to investigate the disappearance. Braun said the department is on the river each day searching for traces of Ridwan, and has viewed surveillance footage of the night he disappeared. Braun said there was some initial difficulty establishing communication with the family. “I’ve been communicating with the cousin and a couple of family friends. I wouldn’t say I had any issues or barriers,” Braun said.
The Monday after meeting Asha, Lul went to Minneapolis City Hall to put in a records request. Ridwan’s mother had mentioned that she wanted to close her son’s bank account and see what his last charges were. Without a subpoena or a formal request, Ridwan’s family would have no access to this information.
Lul also called the towing company that picked Ridwan’s car up that night. She was told that the vehicle was parked with the keys in the ignition. “That’s the only accurate information we have today,” Lul stated.
Two weeks after Ridwan’s disappearance, officers had contacted Asha with news of a body having been pulled out of the river. After some anticipation and hopeful prayers, the body was identified as another missing Somali man.
Although Lul may have no connection to Ridwan or his mother Asha, she felt a responsibility to show Asha that there was a community here for her to depend on. Lul’s own family has suffered through loss. “She looks like she’s around my mom’s age,” Lul said of Asha.
“I have two brothers who suffer from mental illness and I’ve lost a brother to mental illness,” she said. Her own connection to aspects of this case has made it somewhat personal in her view.
“The least we could do is get the word out. Even if nothing good comes out of it, at least the mother knows she’s not alone,” Lul said.