The earth opened and swallowed 45-year-old Charalambos Ziotopoulos. The unfortunate man from Artemisio Arcadia, worked as a plumber and at the same time engaged in agricultural work with his father.
His tracks were lost on the morning of Thursday, November 10. That day he would go in his farm car to Tripoli to testify at the Fire Service about an arson case.
His car was found abandoned in the wider area of Orchomenos, between Levidis and Kandyla, one day later, by the fingerprint of his mobile phone. He was at a distance of six kilometers from his house and in the opposite direction to the one he would have taken for Tripoli.
It was not visible from the road and the gate of the field fence where it had been left was closed. The keys and mobile phones of the missing person were not found. His personal information was found in the glove compartment of the car, which causes concern for his relatives, who fear the worst.
That morning, Babis spoke to his father on the phone and informed him that he was heading to Tripoli to testify. From then on, all was lost.
A week before the disappearance, a fire broke out in the warehouse located in the area of the properties he was renting. The warehouse that had straw and fruits belonged to another villager.
He had left the family’s barrel near the warehouse and had expressed fears that the villagers would involve him in this fire.
Babi’s father has moved heaven and earth to find him. He spoke to “Tunnel” from the house he lived with his son in Artemisio and then took the camera to the spot where the car was found.
“We found the car locked…”
“On the way to the place where the car was found, a camera may have recorded him, because the police station is also there. I don’t know the details, but the police do,” said Mr. Theofanis.
“When we got here the door was closed and locked and the car was in the field. Babis used to come here because he cultivated these fields. You have to know to come because access is difficult. All the surrounding villages have been searched by the Security, but to no avail,” he concluded.
“Someone took him from here…”
“He left home on Thursday morning and on Friday afternoon the car was found here in the fields from his mobile phone footprint. We came with the police to the scene. His license and identification were found in the car’s locker. The area has been searched by the Tripoli Security with a specially trained dog and a drone, but nothing was found,” he said.
“At some point he opened his cell phone which was closed, but no one spoke. Since de-privacy of phone, it has been found to be closed here in the area. As the location shows, someone took him,” he added.
Unable to hold back his tears and emotion, he said in a trembling voice:
“I miss. I want you to find me my child. If he has chosen to live somewhere else, he is obliged to tell me, and I will grant him my wish.”
“I found Babis’ car…”
The witness who spotted the missing man’s car in the field where he was working, spoke to “Tunnel” about what he saw, but also about what he thinks has happened to his fellow villager and friend.
“I was coming with the tractor and I saw Babi’s car. I called him, but got no answer. It was around three in the afternoon. I was informed the next day about his disappearance by his father, who came and looked for him with me,” said the witness.
For the scenario of his friend leaving voluntarily, he said:
“No one leaves alone, there are people…”.
He did not rule out the possibility that someone wanted to harm him.
“Sometimes you don’t know what’s going on. He was a hard-working child, he had no financial difficulties. I don’t know what could have happened to him.”
What witnesses say about the fire…
The “Tunnel”, investigating in depth the disappearance of Babis, identified and spoke with witnesses.
The owner of a café in the village referred to the footage from a closed-circuit security camera that recorded a vehicle at the time of the fire.
“There is a video in which a car is recorded passing by with its lights on. He appears to be leaving the street where the fire broke out, where the warehouse was and suddenly shows it becoming a mess. Babis was here that night and left anxious to see what happened,” he said.
From the broadcast’s investigation, it emerged that cameras have also recorded other cars at the scene, but no license plates can be seen and the work of the Fire Department is difficult.
Another witness claims to have seen the missing person on the day of the disappearance.
“I saw him that day when he got lost in the other car he had, around half past ten in the morning, before the junction for Athens at a turn. He was alone in the car. He might have gone to another village, I don’t know. He was afraid of getting involved with the fire that had broken out a few days earlier,” he said.
It was found that the second car that the witness says, had not moved and he probably confused the day he saw it.
Charalambos Ziotopoulos is stout, has a height of 1.80 and when he went missing he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket, a black blouse and white blue sports shoes.
Missing Alert has been activated for his disappearance.