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EXCLUSIVE: Mysterious Text At Center Of Missing Local Woman Case

Marisha Cheong Vanished On Dec. 19; Family Says Message Received Is Fishy
The missing persons poster for 24-year-old Marisha Cheong. (Photo: CBS 2)

The missing persons poster for 24-year-old Marisha Cheong. (Photo: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Where is she?

It’s been two weeks of waiting, and worry, for a Nassau County woman.

Just before Christmas her daughter disappeared without a trace, under suspicious circumstances, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported exclusively on Wednesday.

“Please, please … just call and tell me that you’re fine,” Bibi Ali said, referring to her missing daughter, Marisha Cheong.

The 24-year-old vanished on Dec. 19.

“We had no Christmas, no New Year, no nothing.  It’s been so terrible,” Ali said.

The family said it was completely out of character for Cheong, characterized as steady and dependable, to disappear.

“My little brother’s birthday was Dec. 21, so she missed all that. We’re very, very scared, want to make sure she’s okay,” said Marisha’s brother, Richard Cheong.

The missing woman lived in Jamaica, Queens with a long-time boyfriend, L.J. Balkaran.

When asked if he had anything to do with her disappearance, Balkaran told Aiello, “Oh no. No. Now, just finding her is all we care about.”

Balkaran said Marisha Cheong texted him Dec. 19 to pick her up at a subway stop in Forest Hills, but she never showed up and hasn’t been seen since.

“We had an argument that day, a text argument that day, but I don’t know, don’t know what happened,” Balkaran said.

Marisha’s mother said she was never without her iPad — she used it constantly — but it was left behind in the apartment, along with her coat.

On Dec. 20, Ali got a text from her daughter’s phone.

“’Mom, I’m fine. I just need a little time to think,’” her mother read.

“She don’t usually talk like that. She usually say ‘mommy,’” Ali added.

The family said it is suspicious of that text, and all the circumstances surrounding Marisha Cheong’s disappearance.

The NYPD is suspicious, too, and asking for help from the public in locating the missing woman.

Marisha Cheong was taking classes at LIU-Brooklyn. Her boyfriend said he is cooperating fully with detectives from the 103rd Precinct.

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