Jamal Abdul’Faruq

Jamal, circa 1990; Age-progression to age 38 (circa 2020); Basil Abdul'Faruq

  • Missing Since 04/16/1990
  • Missing From Richmond, Virginia
  • Classification Non-Family Abduction
  • Sex Male
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 08/12/1982 (41)
  • Age 7 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'5, 47 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A black Batman t-shirt, blue jeans, a gray and red fleece baseball jacket and white sneakers.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes. Jamal has a scar on his right eyebrow and a mole on his temple above his left ear. He had a small gap between his upper front teeth at the time of his disappearance.

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 and searched for her sons, but couldn't find them. After forty-five minutes of searching, 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.

Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 15, 2023; details of disappearance updated.