Nafiah Ikram and her family held a news conference Wednesday in Elmont, about two years after she was attacked by someone who threw acid in her face, to keep a spotlight on the unsolved case. NewsdayTV's Cecilia Dowd reports. Credit: Anthony Florio; File Footage; Ikram Family

Just over two years after a still-unknown assailant threw acid in the face of Nafiah Ikram, an attack on her Elmont driveway from which she continues a painful recovery, the Hofstra University student said Wednesday she’s still afraid to go home.

She had done just that on the night of March 17, 2021, arriving home from her job at CVS Pharmacy, when the male attacker threw what she has previously said she initially thought was warm juice on her face and arms. 

Outside that Arlington Avenue home Wednesday, Ikram, 23, and her family held a news conference to remind the public of the attack and urge anyone with information to come forward. Nassau County police last month increased the reward to $50,000, including $20,000 from the FBI, for information leading to an arrest in the case. Nassau County Leg. Carrie Solages, D-Lawence, joined the family.

The Hofstra University student has endured numerous surgeries in the past two years. The acid burned her throat so she needed procedures to dilate her esophagus. After the attack, Ikram was put on a liquid diet before eventually returning to solid foods. Ikram has difficulty seeing but Wednesday said she is optimistic that will change. 

“I can’t wait to see out of the right side of my eye. These are things we everyday take for granted that I have lost,” she said. “I feel like two years have gone by and nothing has been accomplished. Even my life with school, I’ve yet to graduate and everything was put on hold for me.”

The suspect, described as about 6-2 and wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and gloves, fled in a 2013 to 2015 red Nissan Altima, police said at the time.

Ikram said immediately after the attack she couldn’t eat or talk, instead communicating with nurses and doctors by writing in a notebook. Although grateful to have regained her voice, strangers walking in the neighborhood, a Nissan driving by, or even the color red, can trigger PTSD. To this day, Ikram said, she still looks down the street whenever she gets home at night. 

On Wednesday, Ikram dressed in red, a way, she said, to help overcome her fears. She now speaks to schools and at community events about self-love and inner beauty.

In a statement, Nassau Police Det. Lt. Richard Lebrun said the department "continues their investigation into this devastating attack," noting numerous tips have poured in since the reward increased. 

Police are asking anyone with information to call Nassau Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

With Cecilia Dowd

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