Mahfuza Rahman

Rahman, circa 2015; Mohammad Chowdhury

  • Missing Since 12/08/2015
  • Missing From the Bronx, New York
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Age 30 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'3 - 5'5, 100 - 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Asian female. Black hair, brown eyes. Rahman was born in Bangladesh.

Details of Disappearance

Rahman was last seen in New York City on December 8, 2015. She lived on east 198th Street in the Kingsbridge Heights area of the Bronx. She worked as a nurse at Bellevue Hospital at the time of her disappearance. The day of her disappearance, she went to work, then went to call at Hunter College, then arrived home. She has never been heard from again.

Rahman was supposed to show up for work on December 10, but never did. The hospital authorities contacted her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, who said Rahman had gone back to her native Bangladesh the previous day because her parents had been seriously injured in an accident. A photo of Chowdhury is posted with this case summary.

When Rahman had still not returned to work by December 14, the hospital police went to her apartment and spoke to Chowdhury. He changed his story slightly, saying Rahman's had left for Bangladesh that morning to see her parents, who had been critically injured and were not expected to live. He said she would come back to work in March.

Later that day, Chowdhury flew to Bangladesh with the couple's nine-year-old daughter. They had been Rahman's only relatives in the United States; the rest of her family lived in Bangladesh.

The police began investigating Rahman's disappearance on March 4, nearly four months after she was last seen, after she didn't return to work as Chowdhury had said she would. They contacted Rahman's parents and learned they hadn't been in a car accident and hadn't heard from their daughter since the day before she was last seen. Chowdhury had told them Rahman had left him for another man.

There was no documentary evidence that Rahman had left the United States at all. Authorities were suspicious and searched the family's residence. The basement was flooded from a broken pipe and the walls had been freshly painted. Authorities dug up the freshly poured patio, but found no evidence there. They did find Rahman's clothes, wallet, credit cards and passport inside the house.

They repeatedly tried to contact Chowdhury, but weren't able to reach him until later that month, when he called them from Bangladesh. He told them his marriage had been troubled, and said he wanted to return to New York and he thought Rahman's family was going to kill him.

Chowdhury is known to have purchased a sixteen-inch camping ax and packing tape on the morning of December 10, just hours after Rahman was last seen. He has not returned to the United States. The couple's daughter now lives with Chowdhury's mother, and Chowdhury has remarried.

Police believe Rahman is dead; they stated she was a person of very regular habits and it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. Her coworkers described her as a very religious Muslim and a private person who sometimes talked about her daughter, but never even mentioned her husband.

She had studied chemistry at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, then got an associate's degree at LaGuardia Community College before transferring to Hunter College, where she was studying for a bachelor's degree in nursing. Authorities have named Chowdhury the prime suspect in her disappearance and are trying to build a murder case against him.

Investigating Agency

  • New York Police Department 718-378-8551

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 6, 2018; details of disappearance updated.