Missing since November 12, 1999 from New York City, New York
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Quinnipiac College Law School student Samiya Haqiqi was last seen leaving the Quinnipiac campus after class at 14.30 on November 12. She left her Hamden, Connecticut apartment to visit family and friends in New York and had called a friend en route at 16.30 using a cellular phone.
Haqiqi drove her black, 1997 Volkswagen convertible to New York.
Samiya Haqiqi had maintained close ties to her family in Queens since she moved from her family's home to Hamden, where she started her first year at Quinnipiac College School of Law in September. Ms. Haqiqi called every night at 23.00 and returned for weekend visits. Samiya had graduated from St. John’s University in 1995 and thereafter took classes at Queens College while working full time during the day as a paralegal for a Manhattan law firm. She had started her first semester at Quinnipiac College’s Law School two months prior to her disappearance.
Her locked 1997 Volkswagen Jetta was found in a Grand Union parking lot at Northern Boulevard and Marathon Parkway in Little Neck on November 15.
In April 2006, a jury found Farid (John) Popal guilty of second degree murder, evidence tampering, falsifying business records and conspiracy in Samiya Haqiqi's death. He was sentenced to 26 years to life. Police believe Popal killed Haqiqi in his car and took her body to a Long Island auto shop. There, he and his brother allegedly disposed of Samiya's body, personal effects and clothing and concealed and destroyed blood evidence on the front passenger seat of his 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix.
Popal thereafter requested an unsuspecting employee to clean up evidence of a fire at a transmission shop – where his brother was employed – -- and assist him in obtaining a replacement front passenger seat for his car.
On November 16, 1999, the defendant, according to the testimony, filed false reports with the 102nd Precinct and the Blue Ridge Insurance Company claiming that his automobile had been stolen.
Nearly from the beginning, Popal had been a suspect, and was questioned several times.
In December 1999, detectives discovered a clump of hair in an auto-repair garage on Long Island where the Popal brothers worked. DNA analysis determined it was Samiya's hair.
Samiya had a relationship with Farid Popal. Police alleged he killed her because she was planning to break up with him and return to an old boyfriend.
With no body, the case was largely circumstantial but included incriminating statements Popal made to former coworkers and police. Popal insists he had nothing to do with his former girlfriend's disappearance.
Haqiqi's body has never been found.
Investigators New York Police Department
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
New York Police Department
North American Missing Persons Network
New York Times
Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index