Tangena Hussain

Tangena, circa 2008; Nilufa Begum; Jamrul Hussain

  • Missing Since 10/02/2008
  • Missing From Detroit, Michigan
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Asian
  • Date of Birth 04/10/2006 (17)
  • Age 2 years old
  • Height and Weight 3'2, 34 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A long-sleeved brown shirt with a cartoon character on the front, white nylon cargo pants with multiple pockets, and gold-colored sandals.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Red four-door 1997 Geo Prism (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Asian female. Black hair, brown eyes. Tangena has a burn scar on her chin/upper lip area. She is of Bangladeshi descent.

Details of Disappearance

Tangena was last seen at a Marathon gas station in the 20500 block of Greenfield Road in Detroit, Michigan on October 2, 2008. Her mother's live-in boyfriend, Jamrul Hussain, stopped there to get gas and buy some gum and juice.

He left Tangena in his red four-door 1997 Geo Prism and went into the store at 9:02 p.m. He came out at 9:06 p.m and Tangena was gone. He says his car was locked at the time of her disappearance.

Jamrul didn't call the police or search for that child at that time. Instead, he drove to pick up Tangena's mother, Nilufa Begum, from her job at a clothing store in the nearby Northland Mall. Begum asked him where her daughter was, and Jamrul replied he would take her to where Tangena was.

The couple returned to the gas station and asked employees there if there were surveillance cameras in the area where Jamrul's car had been parked. There were no cameras on that side of the building, although surveillance cameras do show Jamrul making his purchases in the store.

Jamrul and Begum filed a missing child report with police at 9:30 p.m. Photographs of both of them are posted with this case summary.

Although they share the same surname, Tangena and Jamrul aren't related. Jamrul and Begum are immigrants from Bangladesh. They'd been dating about five months by the time Tangena disappeared.

Jamrul's attorney maintains his client knows little about American culture and the American legal system, although he does speak reasonably good English. Police admitted that language and cultural barriers have impeded their investigation.

Tangena's father, Mohammed Ahmed, lives in New York. Ahmed and Begum were married for five years before their divorce in 2006. Their other two children live with Ahmed's parents in Bangladesh.

After Tangena's disappearance was publicized, a fifteen-year-old girl went to police and said she recognized Jamrul from a television broadcast and that he had kidnapped her at gunpoint, held her captive for a week, and raped her repeatedly in February 2008. She said she hadn't reported the crime before because Jamrul had threatened to kill her and her family; instead, she claimed she had run away with her boyfriend.

Investigators arrested Jamrul for kidnapping and rape, and also charged the couple who lived in the house where the girl said she'd been imprisoned. The charges against them were later dismissed, and the charges against Jamal were reduced to criminal sexual conduct after two witnesses testified that he and the girl had been dating each other.

In December 2009, Jamrul was convicted of statutory rape. He was sentenced to one and a half to fifteen years in prison.

Begum initially supported Jamrul, saying he loved Tangena and cared for her like a daughter. By November 2008, however, she publicly stated she doubted Jamrul's version of events and believed he knew more about Tangena's disappearance than he was telling.

Begum took a polygraph of her own initiative and passed the test. Jamrul took a polygraph as well, but he was so upset at the time that the results were useless. He refused to take the test again. Begum has since returned to Bangladesh. She says she believes Tangena is still alive.

Although some investigators stated they have serious doubts about Jamrul's story, he hasn't been named a suspect in Tangena's disappearance. Her case is investigated as a missing child rather than as a crime. Little evidence is available as to her fate.

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 11, 2013; details of disappearance updated.