ELMONT, Nassau County (WABC) -- Thursday marks one year since a still-unsolved acid attack on a Long Island college student, and the victim, Nafiah Ikram, is speaking out in hopes the suspect might be brought to justice.
Despite surveillance video of the actual attack, police have not been able to figure out who splashed a burning liquid on Ikram's face on the night of March 17, 2021.
The now-22 year-old was arriving home from work in Elmont when when a man ran up from behind and, without saying a word, threw the chemical in her face.
She and her parents spoke outside their home, with Ikram saying she is suffering from severe anxiety and nightmares.
"It's been mentally exhausting," she said.
She has had multiple surgeries to repair her face, arms and throat, which were damaged by the chemical substance. She is about to begin years of plastic surgeries to fix the skin on her face, and she cannot see out of her right eye.
"It's been very draining and exhausting," her mom, Sherina Mohammed, said. "As the days go on, we get weaker and weaker."
Ikram and her parents believe the Nassau County Police Department did not take the case seriously and haven't worked hard enough to find the perpetrator.
They are hopeful that the FBI may be successful.
"FBI, hopefully, they'll do better job what Nassau County Police didn't," her father, Sheikh Ikram, said.
Nassau County police told Eyewitness News that their investigators are continuing to work with the Ikram family and have assigned numerous interagency resources to the case.
They said they have not yet determined whether the attack was a hate crime. Ikram is Muslim.
Nassau County Crime Stoppers and the FBI have both increased their reward for tips leading to the suspect to a combined $40,000.
"You have put a tremendous amount of pain in the lives of this family," Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages (D-Valley Stream) said of the perpetrator.
Ikram is still pursuing a pre-med degree at Hofstra University, as she was before the attack, but said she will only go to in-person classes if her parents are with her because she is too scared to be in unfamiliar places.
She said she is learning to love herself again, and her message to people is: "Learn to find beauty within yourself and love yourself no matter what."
Anyone with information about the case has been asked to call the police at (1-800-244-TIPS) or online - all tips will remain anonymous.
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