Missing Halfmoon man’s mother puts out plea for information

HALFMOON — Bilal Ashfaq’s face looks out from missing person signs at Crescent Park.

It’s been eight months, and there’s still no sign of him.

“We want him to come back,” said his distraught mother, Tahira Ashfaq. “We’ll help him. Whatever he wants, make a good life. He wants to study, he wants to get a job.”

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In March, when he was 20, he was last seen walking through the parking lot of Stewart’s off Route 9, near Crescent Park on Terminal Road.

His mother feels the pain every day.

“My heart is cut into pieces, in the day, in the night, every minute, every hour,” said Ashfaq. “I’m just looking at the door, maybe my son is back. I’m looking on the roads, everywhere.”

His mother, family and friends stood near his last-known location in the rain Wednesday, desperate for information.

“I want my son back safely and I’m thankful again for all you people, all the community, and the people helping us, all the friends from the different communities,” said Ashfaq. “I am very thankful.”

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They hired East Coast Investigations, private investigators.

“One thing we have noticed while canvassing the area where Bilal Ashfaq was last seen, we noticed that there was very little to no community awareness,” said Angie Van Patten, Director of PR for East Coast Investigations. “We are asking the public to speak up, to spread the word. Ask your friends, your family, your neighbors. Somebody out there must know something.”

He is a vulnerable adult. His family says he has mental health issues.

He had no wallet, no ID, no money or cellphone. He was on foot with no access to vehicles.

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State police did an extensive search of the water and area months ago, but he remains missing. His family continues the search every day.

“Coming sometimes my other friends. We go on the streets, on the road where we can think that he might be there, we just walk on different paths, even where there’s no road, we go walking, maybe we hear something from Bilal,” said his mother.

Anyone with any information is asked to call a non-law enforcement 24-hour anonymous tip line (518) 650-1510.