May 9, 2012
How can a pregnant woman be missing for more than 2 weeks and her husband not be a person of interest? Bibi Farruoq, a native of Guyana, South America and a U.S. citizen was a mother of four. She was a former real estte professional, loving soccer and stay-at-home mom according to her cousin. She was pregnant with her 5th child and was 41 years old. It’s not clear whether this was a planned pregnancy or if she had any prenatal complications. Certainly her advanced age would increase her risk factors but hopefully not to the point of death. Yet, Farrouq was found dead in her bathtub of her Pennsylvania vacation homes in the Poconos with a stillborn baby girl lying underneath her. She had been dead for at least 10 days although the exact time of death was indeterminate because of her severely decomposed body.
Her husband, Mohamed Farrouq was an interstate truck driver who was away from home at various times. The Farrouqs, like many New York City dwellers, lived in an apartment but owned a vacation home in the Poconos. Two weeks after his wife was missing, he brings their four children to their vacation home and discovers the bodies of his missing wife and unborn baby. I have many, many questions for both the husband and police department. Where was Mr. Farrouq during his wife’s 2-week absence and why did he not report her missing sooner or go to their vacation home when she went missing? Who took care of her four children during her absence and did anyone in her family not get suspicious that something was array?
Although the state police investigator doesn’t believe “there’s been foul play,” I am reminded of a folklore legend we heard during our residency training about a physician (more specifically, an anesthesiologist) who killed his wife using the paralyzing poison, Curare. He almost “got away with murder” but didn’t based on a toxicology report that the nurses insisted be done because of his alleged infidelity.
From 1990 to 2004, there were 1,367 pregnant women murdered. Studies show that physical abuse occurs in 7 to 20 percent of pregnant women, sometimes leading to death from homicide. Women with an unplanned pregnancy have a 3-fold higher risk of physical abuse than planned pregnancies. The toxicology reports on Farrouq are pending. A DNA test of mom, dad and stillborn might not be a bad idea either. This case certainly has more questions than answers.