THE BRONX — Exactly three years ago on Dec. 10, 2015, credit card records showed Mohamed Choudhury made a couple of purchases at a Bronx hardware store that would later seem very suspicious: a camping ax with a 16-inch blade and a roll of packing tape.
By the time the NYPD found out about the items, Choudhury was long out of the United States, after flying home to his native Bangladesh with his only daughter, then 7.
Choudhury remains the prime person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Mahfuza Rahman, who was 30 years old when she worked her last shift at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan as a nurse in training.
After attending class at Hunter College on Dec. 9, 2015, surveillance footage showed the young mom made it out of the train station near her Bronx home on East 198th Street.
But there’s no evidence she ever left the house alive.
“He’s given five different versions of what happened to her,” said retired First Grade Detective, Malcolm Reiman, who investigated the case for the Bronx Homicide Squad. “The complete fabric of her existence vaporized.”
Detective Ernie Dorfil from Bronx Homicide had shown PIX11 the kind of camping hatchet that Choudhury allegedly purchased.
Dorfil noted that Rahman’s husband initially told a nursing supervisor that his wife flew home to Bangladesh for a family emergency on Dec. 9.
But Choudhury told a slightly different story when hospital security personnel showed up at his Bronx home on Dec. 14, 2015.
“He said that Mahfuza Rahman’s parents were in a bad car accident and likely to die, so she had to leave that morning on Dec. 14,” Detective Dorfil told PIX11.
Investigators later learned that Rahman’s parents were never injured in an accident.
The NYPD didn’t get notified about Rahman’s disappearance until March 2016. They dug up fresh cement in the front yard but didn’t find anything.
They scoured the abandoned home and noticed the basement was flooded, possibly destroying any evidence that might have been there.
Mahfuza Rahman’s wallet and passport were found in the home.
Retired Detective Reiman said there’s a strong circumstantial case against Choudhury but investigators would like something more.
Perhaps a witness “seeing a figure dragging something heavy” in the night between late Dec. 9, 2015 and early Dec. 10.
Detectives would like to know if anyone in the home located at 22 E. 198th St. in the Bronx called for a cab or perhaps asked a friend for a ride.
“I feel there’s things out there,” Detective Reiman said of evidence that will help the case.
“She is definitely not alive,” Reiman said of Mahfuza Rahman.
Her husband is definitely living his life.
He is now remarried and raising the daughter he had with Mahfuza Rahman in the area of Comilla, Bangladesh.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.AlertMe