Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Mahfuza Rahman

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Mahfuza Rahman, a 30-year-old woman of Bangladeshi origin who was living in the Bronx when she disappeared on December 8, 2015. She was a nurse, a devout Muslim, and the mother of a nine-year-old girl.

The circumstances of her case make it pretty clear what happened: she was almost certainly murdered by her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury. The cops are trying to build a murder case against Chowdhury, who decamped for Bangladesh immediately after Mahfuza’s disappearance. He’s still there as far as I know; I wonder if they’ve got an extradition agreement with the US?

More on Randi Boothe-Wilson

This article has some more on the disappearance and identification of Randi Stacey Boothe-Wilson, which I blogged about the other day. Included in the article is a color photo of Boothe-Wilson. It looks like she was light-skinned and had straight hair, which might explain why the body, when it was found, was thought to be a white woman.

They got the DNA sample from “a stamp from a letter purportedly sent by Boothe-Wilson.” That’s clever. Sometimes investigators have to get creative. I read about another article today that was accomplished by fingerprints, and they got the prints, not from an arrest or military record, but from a pawnshop. When you pawn something you have to give a fingerprint.

(The stamp thing wouldn’t work for me. I loathe the taste of them and I buy stamps with sticky backs, or I use a wet sponge to dampen them.)

So it looks like Randi really did send that goodbye letter. It says the cause and manner of death is unknown, as of course is how she made her way to North Carolina. Such a strange case.

Florida Jane Doe identified as Randi Boothe-Wilson

Per this article, a woman who was found in a wooded area in Jacksonville, Florida North Carolina [sorry I am dumb] in December 1995 has been identified as Randi Stacey Boothe-Wilson, missing since October 1994.

I’m pretty surprised by this. The image of the unidentified woman shows what appears to be a white person with light brown hair. Randi was black. She also didn’t disappear anywhere near Jacksonville; she went missing from New York City, something like 1000 570 miles up the coast.

The photos I have of Randi are black and white though, and not in the best quality, so it’s hard to tell what she looked like. And she left some goodbye notes, so perhaps she left New York voluntarily, traveled to Florida North Carolina and met her end there.

I’m glad her family will finally get SOME answers, anyway, although the identification seems to ask a lot more questions.

Black History Month: Stevey Sommerville

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Stevey Howard Sommerville, a fourteen-year-old boy who disappeared from Brooklyn, New York on September 6, 1990.

He is classified as a runaway, and uses a string of aliases, all close to his original name. Unfortunately I don’t know anything else about this case.

Black History Month: Olynthia Harper

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Olynthia Ann Harper, a 25-year-old woman who disappeared from Syracuse, New York on September 20, 1985.

That evening, she left her two kids with a babysitter. I’m assuming the kids were supposed to spend the night there, since it was eleven p.m. when she dropped them off. She never returned for them and there’s been no indication of her whereabouts since.

I haven’t been able to find any articles on the case and don’t know much about it, alas.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Keyla Contreras

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Keyla Contreras, a biracial Hispanic and African-American eighteen-year-old who disappeared from Manhattan on January 13, 2012.

Keyla’s case is concerning because she’s deaf and mute — meaning she can’t speak intelligibly and only communicates with sign language. Obviously that makes her extremely vulnerable. She left her home in the Spanish Harlem area at 7:00 a.m., perhaps to go to work or school, and vanished.

Unfortunately I know very little about her disappearance. Even the Whereabouts Still Unknown blog, known for its wonderful research, couldn’t find much on her.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Cesilia Pena

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Cesilia Pena, a fourteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Manhattan on October 6, 1976, while on her way home from St. Alphonsus Commercial High School.

Cesilia lived in the Bronx and took the subway to and from school; this article talks about the route she might have used. She was tiny, less than five feet tall, and she looks very young in her pictures.

She may have been accosted by Anthony “Rudy” Flores while on her way home that day; a witness reported seeing them together, with Flores holding her by the arm. Flores is also a suspect in the disappearance of Nelida Del Valle from Boston later that year.