Mahfuza Rahman, a 30-year-old nurse and mother, is now listed as missing following a three-month absence from her job.
The search was delayed as her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, told his wife’s coworkers that she had taken a trip back to Bangladesh to care for her parents, as reported by The Daily News.
After Mahfuza failed to return to work on the day Mohammad had promised she would, colleagues at Bellevue Hospital became suspicious and alerted authorities who called NYPD.
Rahman was last seen at Bellevue Hospital Center on the lower east side of Manhattan, at 3:30 p.m. on December 9, as she left work for the day.
Mohammad, 38, told neighbors that he himself would also return to Bangladesh, and would bring the couple’s daughter with him.
Currently his whereabouts are unknown, and the 52nd Precinct detective squad is searching for him for questioning.
Mohammad is described as having Asian/Pacific Island origins, with a height of 5’7 and a weight of approximately 150 pounds.
Mahfuza, Mohammad, and their 9-year-old daughter resided in Bedford Park on East 198th Street.
On Sunday, March 6, NYPD went to the private house to search for signs of criminal activity.
They removed concrete in the front yard that was freshly poured, and had police dogs comb the property, but found nothing.
According to DCPI, the investigation is ongoing and is still considered a missing person case as there has not been any hard evidence of criminal activity.
The investigation is ongoing said a DCPI spokesperson.
A rally led by the Bangladesh Association of the Bronx was held for the missing Mahfuza on Saturday, March 19, in front of the Bedford Park residence to draw attention to the case.
“The more people that know about this, the better it is for her,” said Adaline Walker Santiago, chairwoman of Community Board 7, who was present at the rally.
Since Mahfuza has no family in the states, it is the community and the police who will lead the crusade to find her, or discover what has happened to her.
Interestingly enough, nobody at the rally knew Mahfuza personally, yet neighbors were out in numbers, expressing their collective concern.
Residents who lived nearby said the couple was quiet, and kept to themselves.
Neighbors from Mahfuza’s native Bangladesh were especially motivated to find the missing woman.
They have plans to put signs and photos up in their home country, so if Mahfuza’s husband were to return, local police could identify and question him.
Santiago says she spoke to one of Mahfuza’s neighbors at the rally, who said he knew of someone close to the Mahfuza.
“You never know what small detail could lead to closing this case,” said Santiago, who doesn’t understand why a nurse and a mother of a young daughter would just up and leave.
“She is in a helping profession,” continued Santiago, “It doesn’t make any sense.”
According to Santiago, neighbors are questioning why authorities have not told the police whether Mohammad has traveled abroad.
Anyone with information on this case should contact Detective Sheldon Smith at 718-220-5836.