Katheryne Mary Lugo
Katheryne, circa 1994; Age-progression to age 31 (circa 2020); Misbah Kazi, circa 1997
- Missing Since 01/08/1994
- Missing From Riviera Beach, Florida
- Classification Non-Family Abduction
- Sex Female
- Race Hispanic
- Date of Birth 03/06/1989 (34)
- Age 4 years old
- Height and Weight 3'0, 65 pounds
- Clothing/Jewelry Description Underpants and a purple and white t-shirt with a picture of the television dinosaur Barney.
- Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Katheryne has pierced ears and a nickel-sized brown birthmark on the hamstring of her right leg. She may use the alias name Parag Khondokar and/or the alias date of birth January 2, 1989. Some agencies spell her first name "Katherine."
Details of Disappearance
Katheryne's mother, Frances Moya, sometimes referred to as Francisca Maya, told authorities she last saw Katheryne at approximately 5:30 a.m. on January 8, 1994 at their residence at the Wood's Edge apartment complex on Military Trail, north of Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach, Florida.
Moya departed for work at that time and left Katheryne in the care of her former live-in boyfriend, Misbah Muhammad Kazi. He is not Katheryne's biological father. A photo of Kazi is posted with this case summary. Moya stated that when she returned home at 3:30 p.m., Kazi informed her that he had sent Katheryne to his native Bangladesh.
Kazi claimed that he would not allow Katheryne to return to the United States until Moya agreed to give him full custody of their unborn child. Moya was eight months pregnant with a girl in January 1994, and was planning to end her relationship with Kazi. She stated they had been having problems for years and he mistreated her and Katheryne; she had sought an injunction against him for domestic violence in 1992.
Authorities believe that Kazi abducted Katheryne in an attempt to force her mother to give up her rights to her unborn baby, and to punish her for terminating two pregnancies during their relationship. He was charged with Katheryne's kidnapping, but was acquitted during his trial. Kazi's defense was that Moya had sent Katheryne away into hiding in a spiteful attempt to frame him for kidnapping the child. He remains the prime suspect in Katheryne's case.
Kazi began harassing Moya by telephone after his trial ended, insinuating that he would reveal Katheryne's whereabouts. He never divulged the child's location, telling her in a recorded telephone conversation, "I want you to suffer. Who won the game? Me." Authorities were able to speak to Kazi's father in Bangladesh, but he didn't provide any useful information in the case.
Moya believes Kazi's sister, who lived in the United States in 1994 but was later deported, may have been involved in Katheryne's abduction. The sister has never been charged in Katheryne's case. She was one of the key witnesses against Kazi at his kidnapping trial, but recanted her statement that she had last seen Katheryne in his company and testified that she only said that because FBI agents threatened to jail her if she didn't implicate Kazi.
Kazi is currently serving a life sentence in a California prison for attempted murder. He was convicted after beating his pregnant fiancee with a hammer in 1995 and leaving her for dead. Authorities stated that Kazi purchased a $300,000 life insurance policy on the woman and intended to kill her in order to receive the settlement.
Although he has been offered several deals by prosecutors, Kazi has continued to refuse to cooperate with investigators regarding Katheryne's case. He has offered to produce proof that the child is alive, but has never actually done so.
Katheryne's case remains open and unsolved. Authorities believe she may still be alive and within the United States. Her family has ties to New York, New Jersey and West Palm Beach, Florida as well as Bangladesh.
- Riviera Beach Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Florida Office
Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 25, 2021; three pictures added.