Saddam Hussein’s mausoleum in his hometown of al-Awjah in Iraq was where his body was laid to rest 12 years ago following his hanging in December of 2006.
US president George W. Bush had then personally authorized the immediate transfer of the dictator's body on an American military helicopter from Baghdad to the northern city of Tikrit, near Al-Awjah.
Sheikh Manaf Ali al-Nida, a leader of the Albu Nasser tribe to which Saddam's clan belongs, held on to a letter his family signed when they received the body, agreeing that Saddam be buried without delay.
Since then, every April 28th, the grave almost turns into a pilgrimage site where his supporters including school children flock on his birthday.
But it was announced that the mausoleum was destroyed in an Iraqi air strike by Shiite paramilitaries of the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition tasked with securing the location.
Many were convinced that Saddam’s tomb was opened. Others said that Saddam’s daughter Hala flew in on a private plane and whisked her father’s corpse away to Jordan.
But according to the Monitor, a university professor and longtime student of the Saddam era said that this was impossible.
“Hala has never come back to Iraq," he said. "(The body) could have been taken to a secret place... nobody knows who moved it or where.”
It is possible that Saddam's tomb could have suffered the same fate as that of his father’s, which was also unceremoniously blown up.
But surprisingly enough, some, including Baghdad resident Abu Samer, believe the Iraqi strongman is still out there.
“Saddam's not dead,” he said. “It was one of his doubles who was hanged.”