Hayat Boumeddiene, a 26-year-old woman and the fourth suspect connected to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris on Friday, was missing as of 4 p.m. EST. She was reportedly part of a hostage-taking situation along with her alleged partner, 32-year-old Amedy Coulibaly, at a Paris-area kosher grocery store.
Paris police raided the grocery store on Friday and did not find Boumeddiene, which brings into question whether she was able to escape after the hostage taking or was not present at all. At least four died at the grocery store, although it is not clear whether they were killed during the police raid or had already died. Ten escaped the grocery store prior to the raid, and national police union spokesman Pascal Disant said Boumeddiene may have gotten away in the confusion as hostages escaped the store, according to CNN.
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Coulibaly claimed their action was taken in coordination with the Kouachi brothers, the suspects in Wednesday's attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, who simultaneously took a hostage at a printing company building some 21 miles outside of central Paris.
Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the U.S., appeared to confirm there was only one hostage taker at the grocery store when he posted on Twitter that “the kosher supermarket has been stormed. The terrorist is dead.”
Local media said Boumeddiene was suspected with Coulibaly in the murder of a female French police officer in southern Paris. Her origins were unknown as of Friday. French authorities have mobilized nearly 90,000 police officers since the Kouachi brothers’ attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in broad daylight on Wednesday that left 12 dead. Paris police put out a notice on Boumeddiene and Coulibaly, describing the two as being “armed and dangerous.” After Boumeddiene was not found in the deli, police began a search for her.
Coulibaly reportedly told French news outlet BFMTV that he “synchronized” his actions with the Kouachi brothers. Coulibaly also said he was affiliated with the Islamic State group, which was not immediately confirmed by authorities.
The Kouachi brothers, Said and Cherif, reportedly trained with al Qaeda in Yemen. Both carried AK-47 assault rifles and military gear during their raid on the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday. They killed 12 people, including a police officer, who they shot execution style on the street following the attack.