Warning: Images in the video above are disturbing.
MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island family is going public with a plea after the daughter was viciously attacked in her Elmont driveway.READ MORE: Police: Woman Sexually Assaulted, Robbed After Being Thrown Down Stairs In Williamsburg
Acid was thrown in her face. By whom, and why, remains a mystery.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, Nafiah Ikram is bravely speaking out after an incomprehensible attack.
“My whole life changed in a matter of five minutes,” she said. “We don’t realize what we have until it’s gone.”
What’s gone is the life she knew as a Hofstra University student. There are now burns across her face and arms.
On March 17, as she arrived home from work, walking from her car, she saw a man watching from the corner. He ran up to her and threw a cup of liquid in her face.
“I started to cry and, like, I was panicking. I was like, ‘Dad, someone threw something in my face!’ And he was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s acid,'” Nafiah said.
Acid burns are seared into her Arlington Avenue driveway, as are burns in her eye and throat.
“She was in the hospital for three weeks, and she’s still not able to eat properly. She can’t see anything good. Only one eye is working,” said her father Sheikh Ikram.
“I can just see colors, but that’s it,” Nafiah said.
“It’s been a horrible nightmare for us,” said her mother Sherina Mohammed.
The attack was unprovoked. The unrecognizable attacker said nothing.
“I want to know, like, what’s the reason? Like, what could I have possibly done to somebody?” Nafiah said.
“That is the big question because she don’t have any enemies. We don’t have any enemies,” Sheikh Ikram said.
There’s been an outpouring of support.
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“We want to find the people that did this terrible, heinous crime,” celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi said in a video posted on Instagram.
Lakshmi and community leaders are urging the public to help out law enforcement.
“If you know something, say something. If you saw something, say something,” said Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages.
The suspect, 6’2″ with a skinny build, fled in a red 2013-15 Nissan Altima.
The Ikrams do not believe this was a hate crime, but it has them living in fear.
“What happened to her, we are hoping and praying this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Sheikh Ikram said.
Supporters have set up a GoFundMe, which is appreciated but of little solace. To support it, CLICK HERE.
“No amount of money in this world will replace her vision,” Sherina said. “Anybody who has a clue, be a human being and come forward.”
Nassau County Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Community groups are raising money to significantly increase the amount.
Of course, calls to 1-800-244-TIPS will remain anonymous.MORE NEWS: Man Struck And Killed While Trying To Fix Tire On Long Island Expressway In Queens
The Nassau police commissioner calls it a vicious and heinous crime, adding he is personally requesting anyone with knowledge come forward.