Details of Disappearance Jamal's stepmother dropped him and his eight-year-old brother, Basil, off at their mother's apartment in the 1700 block Clarkson Road on April 16, 1990. The boys went outside to play in the front yard at 2:30 p.m. while their mother, Tambra Ellis, went to sleep inside. She had worked the night shift the day before. Ellis woke up after a nap, searched for her sons, but couldn't find them. When she had looked for them for forty-five minutes without result, she contacted the police. The boys never returned to their apartment. A photo of Basil is posted with this case summary.
Three days later, authorities discovered Basil's fully clothed body in a Chesterfield County landfill ten miles from their home. Basil had been bound, gagged and stabbed twice in the back, and his skull had been fractured postmortem. His killer placed his remains in a plastic garbage bag and put in a dumpster, and from there his body was taken to the landfill. There was no sign of Jamal at the scene and he has never been heard from again.
Following the discovery of Basil's body, investigators detained the boys' father, Everett Abdul'Faruq, for three hours. Court documents indicated that authorities initially believed the child was injured or killed inside his father's residence. A search of the property failed to produce any evidence to support the theory. Everett has never been implicated in connection with his sons' cases, although he did refuse to take a lie detector test, saying it was contrary to his Muslim religious beliefs. Eventually both of Jamal's parents were ruled out as suspects in his disappearance and Basil's murder.
Jamal's favorite food in 1990 was pizza, and he enjoyed playing and watching basketball and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles videos. He was in the second grade at E.S.H. Green Elementary School at the time of his disappearance. Authorities believe it's possible he's still alive. His case remains unsolved.
- Richmond Police Department
Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 25, 2017; details of disappearance updated.