Petra Loretta Muhammad
Petra, approximately 2006
Date reported missing : 01/07/2006
Missing location (approx) :
Highland Falls, New York
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Age at the time of disappearance: 30 years old
Height / Weight : 5'7, 120 - 133 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Petra is of Caribbean descent; she was born in Grenada. Her maiden name is Boatswain. Her ears are pierced.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Petra was last seen by a relative in Highland Falls, New York on January 7, 2006. She paid her cellular phone bill and went shopping at the mall with a friend that day. Her relative reported her missing in February after not seeing her for several weeks.
When questioned, Petra's husband of four years, William Muhammad, said he didn't know her whereabouts. He said he hadn't reported her missing because she had left him for short periods before and he assumed she had done so again.
He said she took simply her belongings and moved out, and suggested she'd gone to New York City or to her native Grenada. However, Petra's identification, driver's license, passport and clothes were left behind at home.
Petra was a student at the State University of New York (SUNY) Orange in Newburgh, New York at the time of her disappearance, studying for a degree in diagnostic imaging. She planned to become an X-ray technician. She also held a part-time cashier's job, and was about to sign a lease for an apartment. It's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning.
Petra and William were in the process of a divorce at the time of her disappearance. Divorce court hearings were scheduled for January 11 and January 25, but Petra and William both missed them and the divorce case was dismissed as a result.
The couple also missed family court hearings after Petra's disappearance; the family court was investigating allegations that William abused their son. The police were called to the Muhammads' home once in response to a domestic dispute, but no arrests were made.
Petra told her classmates that William had threatened her life. Four months prior to her disappearance, she sought an order of protection from him. She told a judge her husband had pushed and shoved her, hit her in the face, threatened to kill her, locked her and their child out of the house, and disabled the phone to keep her from calling for help. The order was granted, prohibiting William from harassing Petra.
Authorities suspected foul play from early on in the investigation. The Muhammads have a young son together and lived in a home owned by William's parents in the 30 block of Schneider Avenue. Police obtained warrants to search the family's home and camper, car and pickup truck.
When they searched the property they found no signs of foul play, but they did find a doll with a noose around its neck, and the family photos had Petra's face cut out of them. William has been uncooperative in the investigation into Petra's disappearance, and authorities believe he may have valuable information he's not sharing. He has not been identified as a suspect in his wife's case, however.
Since Petra's disappearance, there's been no activity on her cellular phone or Social Security number, and there's no evidence that she left the country after 2006.
She was raised by various relatives in Grenada. She moved to Trinidad at Age at the time of disappearance: fourteen, then moved to the United States at Age at the time of disappearance: twenty-four and married William, whom she'd met two years earlier. His former name is William Jackson; he changed his surname after converting to Islam.
Petra's loved ones do not believe she would have willingly abandoned her son; they think she met with foul play and is deceased. Her case remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Highland Falls Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
The Times Herald-Record
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
News 12 Westchester
5 October 12, 2004. August 12, 2013; Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map