BD nurse missing for 3 years in USA; husband suspected

December 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm
Silkcitynews Desk:
More than three years after Mahfuza Rahman, a Bangladeshi American nurse, went missing from her home in Bronx, the New York police seem to have made little progress in solving the case.
Barely a few days after her disappearance, her husband, Mohammed Chowdhury, too had left the country with their nine-year-old daughter for Bangladesh and the police have not been able to question him in person.
A New York Police Department spokesperson told that Chowdhury remains the sole “person of interest”—a term often used by the US police for a suspect or someone under criminal investigation.
The case seems to have gone cold and the police so far haven’t discovered Rahman’s body or remains. A retired detective who investigated the case for Bronx Homicide squad believes she is dead.
Mahfuza Rahman, 30, worked as a nursing associate at the Bellevue Hospital in New York and also pursued a bachelor’s degree to become a full-time nurse at the Hunter College in New York. On December 9, 2015, she attended her class and surveillance camera footage showed her coming out of the train station near her home in Bronx.
The police have no evidence of her leaving the house.
In fact, the police were notified about her disappearance nearly three months after her disappearance and by then her husband had already left the country.
“The victim was reported missing by her co-worker after failing to show up to work. Investigation remains ongoing on the case, and she is still considered missing,” says NYPD spokesperson Ahmed Nasser.
Rahman’s husband Chowdhury reportedly told his wife’s supervisor that his wife flew home to Bangladesh for a family emergency on December 9.
The detective who investigated the case then told a local TV station that the husband changed his statement a few days later when the hospital’s security personnel showed up at his Bronx home on December 14, 2015.
“He said that Mahfuza Rahman’s parents were in a bad car accident and likely to die, so she had to leave that morning on December 14,” said the detective.
Many months later it was found that Rahman’s parents were never injured in an accident but by then Chowdhury was already out of the country.
Rahman’s friend and a co-worker, Tiani Lee Morales, vividly remembers seeing her missing report on television on a March morning.
“I immediately called a few other nurses I worked with and they all had got to know about it just then,” she told . With no new information coming out, Morales set-up a Facebook page for Rahman after a few months. The local Bangladeshi community distributed some pamphlets but nothing came out of it.
Morales has continued to be in touch with the detective who is now investigating the case and also Rahman’s family in Bangladesh through Facebook.
“I got to know through her brother Rezaur Rahman that her husband has remarried and lives with his new wife in Comilla, Bangladesh,” she says. She says Rahman’s brother told her that Chowdhury is not letting them see their sister’s daughter either.
“I also got to know that the police wanted him to come to the US embassy in Dhaka for questioning but he avoided that,” says Morales. The US doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Bangladesh currently and that stops them from getting him to US soil for questioning.
According to US media reports, one of the main reasons for the police to suspect Mohammed Chowdhury was his changing statements to his wife’s office, and also the purchase of a camping axe and a roll of packing tape bought from a Bronx hardware store on December 10, 2015 on his credit card. The fact that he bolted out of the country within a week of his wife’s disappearance further adds to the suspicion.
But all these are considered to be circumstantial evidence by the police. The police did not find any strong forensic evidence in the couple’s abandoned home. The basement was flooded and it possibly destroyed all the evidence. They dug up a relatively freshly concrete job outside the front entrance but that did not yield anything either.
The police reportedly did find Rahman’s wallet and passport in her home and that proves her husband’s statement that she had flown to Bangladesh to be a lie.
Rahman’s friend Morales and a few of her co-workers are now putting together a vigil in her Bronx neighbourhood in the hope that the third anniversary of her mysterious disappearance could throw some new light on the case.
The New York police too have asked anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
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