Coroner's finding

A CLOUD of suspicion will continue to hang over the family of missing toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui after a coroner found some of their behaviour was "puzzling" and their evidence "troubling".

In Glebe Coroner's Court on Thursday, deputy state coroner Sharon Freund said she cannot be sure missing toddler Rahma is dead.

Ms Freund handed down an open finding and referred the case back to the homicide squad.

She said that after four weeks of hearings, which had testimony from more than 40 witnesses, the inquest "did nothing, in my view, to exculpate Rahma's immediate family".

She declined to find that Rahma was kidnapped by a person or persons unknown to the El-Dennaoui family, or to rule out the suggestion that they staged an abduction to conceal that she died at home.

Rahma has not been seen since she was put to bed by her parents Hosayn and Alyaa El-Dennaoui in their Lurnea home about 2am on November 10, 2005.

At the time she was about 21 months old.

The inquest heard various theories as to what happened to her, including that she was abducted by a relative, or a stranger, and is alive and well.

It also canvassed the possibility that she was taken by a criminal, particularly a paedophile, who harmed and murdered her.

But the second half of the inquest focused on Rahma's parents, Hosayn and Alyaa El-Dennaoui, and their siblings and in-laws.

Rahma's uncle Said Dennaoui told reporters the family would support the police investigation continuing.

"We do not accept anything [about] anyone from the family being involved when Rahma disappeared," he said.

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