The body of 3-month-old Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem, who allegedly was thrown off a Garden State Parkway bridge by her father in February, may have been recovered over the weekend, according to New Jersey State Police.
Workers found an infant's body Saturday morning on the southern side of the Raritan River, east of the Victory Bridge, in Sayreville, Middlesex County, and contacted authorities, said Sgt. Stephen Jones.
DNA samples will be submitted to a state police lab today, but "the clothing and wrappings and age are consistent with the child we were looking for," Jones said. Zara's mother, Venetta Benjamin, has been notified.
Police said that Zara's father, Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem, of Galloway Township, Atlantic County, took her from her 60-year-old grandmother's home in East Orange on Feb. 16 and threw her off the Driscoll Bridge over the Raritan River. Abdur-Raheem allegedly choked the grandmother and struck her with a minivan when she tried to stop him from taking the baby.
Abdur-Raheem, a devout Muslim and aspiring lawyer who once interned at the District of Columbia's Office of the Attorney General, was arrested shortly after the abduction at his father's house in Winslow Township, Camden County. He allegedly confessed to tossing Zara off the bridge, setting off a three-day search involving divers and helicopters.
Benjamin was obtaining a temporary restraining order against Abdur-Raheem in Essex County Superior Court when the kidnapping occurred.