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Dr. Zehra Attari’s body was found in her car at the bottom of the Oakland Estuary in Almeda, Calif.

SAN JOSE, Dec. 21, 2005
Atma Singh

After a six-week search, Dr. Zehra Attari’s body was found in her car at the bottom of the Oakland Estuary in Almeda, Calif.

Divers at the Grand Street pier on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005 located a car matching the description of Attari’s 2001 gray Honda Accord. After lifting the car from the murky water, police discovered the doctor’s body…

According to police and residents, the road on which Attari was traveling is deadly — no barrier between the street and the water exists. They say it is likely that someone who didn’t know the area could drive off the pier and into the water unknowingly.

This is kind of scary because I think it may remind many of us about our own mothers. Her family describes her as being an under-confident driver and easily disoriented when traveling new routes. I know this description fits my own mother when she is faced with highway driving.

Attari was not far from her destination that evening on Nov. 7. A right turn onto Otis Drive would have set her back on track. Instead, Attari made a left. When she finally made a right a few blocks down, it was onto Grand Street.

While Grand Street is not exactly a road to nowhere, it is a road that leads directly into the cold black waters of the Oakland estuary. That is where Attari’s journey ended.

NRI, Dr. Zehra Attari of Oakland, Missing


SAN JOSE, Nov. 11, 2005
Atma Singh

NR, non-resident Indian, Dr. Zehra Attari wife Tassaduq Attari, 55-year old Indian female pediatrician and left her clinic located on 2700 International Blvd. in Oakland at around 5:00 pm for a meeting at 6:30 pm at Alameda Alliance for Health in Alameda. Doctors and affiliates of Alameda say that she never showed up for the meeting.

She had about $700 of petty cash, and had left her keys and bag in the clinic. She always left that bag when she was about to go to a meeting, and would only take it with her if she were going straight home. When her medical assistant called her cell phone at around 6:05 pm it appeared to be turned off. No one has been able to contact her since. She was wearing a light blue long-sleeved knit sweater with navy blue pants of a polyester blend. She has black shoes and black glasses. She was driving a silver 2001 Honda Accord, license plate number 4MUH810. She has a light tan complexion and is slightly overweight.

According to Mercury News, long before she opened an office to serve low-income patients in Oakland, Dr. Zehra Attari had devoted her life to medicine. She spent three years away from her family so she could finish her medical residency here.

``She struggled very hard to do that,'' said her daughter, Dr. Ruby Ali, who followed in her mother's footsteps and is a medical resident at the University of California-Davis Medical Center. ``She was able to master medicine in English, which is not her first language.''

Attari was so willing to help others, it's inconceivable to her family and friends that now others have been asked to help look for the pediatrician with the big, ready smile.

After leaving her office in west Oakland just after 5 p.m. Monday to attend a meeting in Alameda, Attari disappeared and has not been seen or heard from since.

And no one has spotted her gray Honda Accord, with the license number 4MUH810.

``On that day, because my back was turned toward the window, I didn't see which way she left,'' said Attari's medical assistant, Connie Maldonado.

Thursday, it will have been three years since Attari opened her office on International Boulevard in Oakland, and Maldonado has been with her the entire time.

``We're all like a happy little family here,'' Maldonado said. ``Her husband comes here two to three times a week, and he's like part of our staff here.''

A retired engineer, Attari's husband, Tasadduq, manages the family's business interests and happily pitched in to drive his wife when she needed to go someplace new. He was ill last Monday, when Attari headed out to the meeting on her own in heavy rain and rush hour traffic.

On that day, ``her last patient was scheduled at 4:15,'' Maldonado said. ``They arrived at 4:30, and the doctor said to bring them on in.

``The children really love her. Three of them came to the office when they got out of school yesterday. They were crying, and I start tearing up,'' she said.

The majority of Attari's patients are low income, and she never pressed them for insurance co-payments and gave many patients free medicine, her family said.

``She was just one of those people,'' her daughter Ruby Ali said. ``Things she didn't have to do, she would do. She didn't have to work in Oakland, but she chose to.''

And despite the heartache at the time, Attari spent a year of her medical residency in Texas and two years in New York while her family remained in California. Her dedication and enthusiasm has her other daughter, Huma, a student at University of California-Berkeley, also thinking about a career in medicine, Ali said.

At home in the Evergreen community of San Jose, Attari has a wide circle of friends and is very active in community events. She's an excellent cook and loves to sew, Ali said.

``She's a very dedicated person, a very kind-hearted person,'' Ali said.

And her friends and family want her back home.

``I have a feeling she'll be walking through that door anytime, with a smile on her face,'' said Maldonado, her medical assistant. ``Her husband has said that, and her daughter said she has a gut feeling she's out there somewhere and will come back.

``She'll be walking through that door anytime.''

The family has offered a $10,000 reward for any information that could help locate Attari. Anyone who would like to help in the search is asked to call (408) 476-6723 or (510) 557-6695.

Sr. Dr. Zehra Attari Missing

Last seen on 11/07/05 at 5:00 PM on International Blvd and 27th street in Oakland.
Wearing a long sleeve knit sweater, navy blue pants, black shoes and black framed glasses. She was driving a silver honda accord Lic # 4MUH810

Ruby Ali, one of the daughters is hoping to hear good news about her missing mother Dr. Zehra Attari, whose office is in Oakland, Calif. Ruby Ali is a doctor herself and is a resident at UC Davis.