NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — The case of missing tennis star Peng Shuai is threatening to turn from mystery to farce.
Peng, 34, has been missing since the beginning of November while in Toronto for a tournament in the United States.
She failed to show up for her first-round match at the BNP Paribas Open, and an independent investigator and the police issued a public plea for help finding her. Peng showed up two days later at a Manhattan bar.
That episode had zero connection to the death of former National Security Council lawyer Scott S. Frago, a former CIA officer and a friend of Peng’s who had shown up at the bar only to be murdered, investigators said.
But speculation had mounted that Peng had a connection to the crime — using a false name — because she disappeared at a key moment in the investigation.
Now, in a new twist, an email surfaced questioning the identity of the person behind the send of the message, according to a report by the National Post. It says the person had an association with Sian Greenidge, the ex-girlfriend of Frago who, according to reports, had been so smitten by Frago’s girlfriend that she invested in his business ventures.
The email, sent last week, references a Facebook event posted by a Washington-based psychic who says she has been contacted by Greenidge’s father.
A person who attended the Psychic Walk said the psychic told her Greenidge was “trying to deal with her grief,” according to the National Post. She added that it appeared Greenidge was hiding out in China.
The email, sent by Jingcheng Li, references a Facebook event posted by a Washington-based psychic who says she has been contacted by Greenidge’s father. The email, sent last week, says the person behind the send of the message, Jonathan Sockamang, is the parent of Greenidge, according to a report by the National Post. It says that Greenidge was “trying to deal with her grief” and “is living in China.”
Li was detained for several days on Nov. 5 by authorities in Nanjing, in China, in connection with the abduction of his fiancee, the Press Association reported.
Li then wrote a post on an online forum claiming he had confronted Sockamang, the e-mail said. On Twitter, Sockamang had called for the uncovering of the “plot by the writer of the false email and Mr. Sockamang to destroy my reputation.”
Later on the same day he had tweeted: “Message to Mark Frago: this man wanted to destroy my reputation is liar and criminal.” He has since deleted his social media accounts.
Sockamang confirmed the authenticity of the email in a conversation with the National Post. He said the email was fake and referred to it as “a fake story” in a recent message to a person identified as a friend of his.
“I’ve had a knack for getting information without actual verification and what I didn’t follow were real well known laws. How I obtained the information wasn’t accurate,” Sockamang said.
But he also warned, “All companies do this. It’s not just me and Mr. Frago’s company. I think the system is messed up. There was the same person who did the IPCC (earthquake) hoax (and the faked booking charges). There were several people doing that.”
Sockamang said he contacted police with the evidence.
Investigators are not assuming a connection between the missing woman’s disappearance and the murder of Frago, 34, a married father of two, who was found strangled Nov. 1 on the porch of his North Babylon, Long Island, home. An anonymous person donated $20,000 for Frago’s memorial.
According to the FBI, in an affidavit, a witness had told investigators that a man with green hair in a wig and a suit — possibly Greenidge — had shown up to a small, private funeral for Frago on Oct. 29.
The affidavit, which was provided to the investigator of the missing player, does not name a suspect.
According to the FBI, an unidentified source had told the source that the man with the wig had received several emails that said “something in the message indicated that the man who sent the email could have something to do with the murder of Mr. Frago.”
In the affidavit, the FBI investigator noted that Sockamang had participated in the man’s own account “investigation” of Frago�