ELMONT, N.Y. — The FBI released a new image of a vehicle wanted in connection with an acid attack on Long Island that left a young college student severely burned and blind in one eye.
A reward of up to $20,000 was offered for information leading to an arrest in the case, the FBI said in a tweet on Tuesday along with a photo of the vehicle.
Nafiah Ikram said she was walking in the driveway of her Elmont home the night of March 17 when an unknown man wearing a hoodie and gloves came up behind her and splashed her in the face with a hazardous substance later detemined to be acid.
“He ran up behind me and threw it in my face,” Ikram told PIX11 News in April. “I can’t understand what level of hatred, or jealousy, or whatever provoked this person to do this to me.”
The acid caused severe burns to the Hofstra University student’s eyes, chest and arms, and melted her contact lenses onto her eyes, according to a GoFundMe set up to help support her.
Investigators with the Nassau County Police Department said the attacker is a thin man, standing about 6 feet, 2 inches tall. Authorities said he fled in a red 2013 to 2015 Nissan Altima with fog lights and yellow New York state license plates.
Police and Ikram, who is Muslim and of South Asian descent, have said they do not believe the attack was a hate crime. However, Ikram’s father believes his daughter was targeted.
“This was pre-planned. They know her, what time she’s going to work, what time she’s coming,” Sheikh Ikram told PIX11 News in April. “This is every parent’s worst nightmare.”
Ikram’s father is also the longtime personal driver for “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi, who put a spotlight on the attack in April by posting a video on Instagram calling for justice.
In an update purportedly posted by Ikram to the GoFundMe page in September, she thanked supporters for donating and said she was OK but still has far to go in her recovery – both physically and mentally.
“Support means everything in my situation because it reminds me that even on my hard days when I want to just give up, I can’t, because so many people are praying for me, and hoping that I fight this war, and win,” the post reads, in part. “I still have extremely horrible and very melancholy days where everything just hits me all over again. It’s going to be a while before I’m ‘okay’ again. But the purpose of this post was to update you all and let you know I’m doing okay, I think.”
Investigators request anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS, the FBI’s toll free tipline at 1-800-225-5324 or 911. All callers will remain anonymous.
PIX11’s Mark Sundstrom, Anthony DiLorenzo, James Ford and Jay Dow contributed to this report.