Lawyer: Norway tycoon received message about missing wife

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The lawyer for one of Norway’s richest men whose missing wife was allegedly abducted said Thursday they have received a message believed to come from those “in control of” her.

Lawyer Svein Holden says it was received Jan. 16, but “didn’t include a sign” that Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who has been missing since Oct. 31, is alive.

“The digital platform on which the message arrived is not suited for it to be answered and that is the reason for me standing here today and me saying what I am saying,” he said.

He declined to give further details, including whether there had been further contact, and police declined to comment.

“The family is now strengthened in their hope that Anne-Elisabeth is alive and wants to do what we can to make her come home safely,” Holden told a news conference. “We want to establish better contact with those who have Anne-Elisabeth.”

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A note was found in the couple’s house, east of Oslo, describing what would happen to the 68-year-old if a demanded ransom wasn’t paid by husband Tom Hagen. Norwegian media have said the ransom was 9 million euros ($10.3 million) and was to be paid in cryptocurrency.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the case.

Police were informed about her disappearance on Oct. 31 but didn’t publicly speak about it until Jan. 9 after which hundreds of tips poured in. Witnesses saw men with cameras with long lenses on the edge of the lake adjacent to the Hagen house, and in recent days, divers have searched the waters for possible clues, police said.

Hagen — a real estate investor and owner of power facilities — is number 172 on a list of Norway’s wealthiest people published by the financial magazine Kapital, with a fortune estimated to be nearly 1.7 billion kroner ($200 million) in 2018.

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