7-year old Jamal Abdul' Faruq and his 8-year old brother Basil were enjoying spring break from school in Richmond, Virginia.
According to CNN, it was April 16, 1990, and the boys asked their mom, Tambar Ellis, if they could go outside to play. Tambar let the boys go outside while she took a brief 30- minute nap. Her boys played with the other children in the neighborhood and walked themselves to school each day, so Tambar had no concerns about them going outside.
Tambar worked the night shift at a local DuPont factory and was tired from her job. When she went outside looking and calling for her sons, she was unable to locate them.
"After about maybe four or five minutes of looking for your kids, you go through a wave of different emotions," Tambar told CNN. "You know they're not up in someone's house, because they knew I wouldn't have allowed it. ... I couldn't believe they weren't within hearing distance."
After 45 minutes of searching the apartment complex, neighborhood store, playgrounds, and more, she called the police.
During this time, Tambar was in the Army Reserves. Several soldiers joined the team of officials, search dogs, and helicopters looking for Basil and Jamal.
Three days later, the parents received horrific news. A truck driver at a Chesterfield landfill 10 miles from the boy's home noticed a body protruding from a plastic bag. It was Basil. He was bound with duct tape, his mouth gagged, his skull was fractured and he had been stabbed twice in the back.
The medical examiner determined he was killed by stab wounds.
The skull fracture occurred after his death.
Investigators scoured the landfill for Jamal and even traced the truck carrying Basil, but they were unsuccessful.
The parents were investigated, fully cooperated, and authorities feel they are in no way responsible for any malicious acts against their children.
At the time, DNA testing wasn’t available, but in 2010, investigators announced they will be testing the duct tape Basil was bound with.
Authorities also received two tips that Jamal was living in Hinesville, Georgia after an America’s Most Wanted airing.
They went to the Wal-Mart where he was supposedly cited to review video footage. They said they were unable to verify the caller’s identity.
"There wasn't anyone we could connect with," Major Thomas Cribbs of the Hinesville Police Department told CNN. "We had nobody to go back and talk to, to ask them, 'Where did you see this person? What can you tell me?' "
Detectives believe there is a strong possibility Jamal is alive, and they will find the person(s) responsible.
Tambar Ellis told CNN, "You hear of Jaycee Dugard," she said. referring to the California woman who was abducted at age 11 and found alive last year, 18 years later.
"Anything is possible. I don't give up," she added.
Jamal was 4'5" and weighed 47 pounds when he vanished.
Please contact Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.