Real Name: Margaret Wiesner
Case: Lost Sister
Location: Newark, New Jersey
Details: Farezat Thormat Abdokov from Russia is searching for her long lost half-sister, Margaret Wiesner. In June of 1992, an American humanitarian organization started a relief effort to distribute food, clothing, and medical supplies to Russian citizens after the end of the Soviet Union. One volunteer was Ben Cross, a retired realtor from Walla Walla, Washington. While he was in Cherkessk, Farezat learned that there was an American in the area. She met with him, hoping that he could help find Margaret.
She told him the story of herself, Margaret, and their family. In the early 1950s, Farezat's mother Roszi had emigrated from Poland with her six-year-old daughter Margaret. Margaret was the only child from Roszi's failed marriage to a man named Samuel Wiesner. Within a year, Roszi had found work on a farm in Vineland, New Jersey. While there, she met and married a Russian immigrant named Boris Thormat. By 1956, they had two children of their own: one-and-a-half-year-old Farezat and newborn Fatimat.
Farezat and Margaret were practically inseparable. The two had a special bond which was made even stronger with the family's rural isolation. Boris was frustrated with his work in America and believed that he could only find success if he returned to Russia. Roszi, however, was just as determined to stay in America. She was upset when Boris refused to listen to her. She consulted a doctor, complaining of symptoms that would nowadays be diagnosed as post-partum depression and easily be treated with medication and therapy. Sadly, during the 1950s, it was a poorly understood condition.
Her doctor wanted her to check into a hospital. However, she did not do so. Overwhelmed by depression and circumstances out of her control, she made a devastating decision. On the morning of May 21, 1956, she left a farewell note for Boris, stating: I didn't wish that you would be unhappy with me always. I'm taking with me Fatimat. You are not guilty of anything. My heart is very weak and I don't want to live more in this world. After leaving the note, she picked up some rocks and walked into Barbours’ Pond in West Paterson with Fatimat.
Roszi and Fatimat were laid to rest side-by-side in the same casket. Shortly after the funeral, Margaret's father Samuel learned of the suicide and managed to intervene. He wished for her to be raised in a Jewish household, not with her stepfather who was Muslim. Margaret, however, was very upset because she wanted to stay with Boris and Farezat. In March of 1957, Samuel arranged for social service agents to pick up Margaret and place her in a Jewish foster home in Newark. Boris and Farezat saw her one more time. In 1959, they returned to Russia and lost track of her.
Since then, Farezat has tried to search for her sister. When she met with Ben Cross, he agreed to do whatever he could to find her when he returned to the United States. Recently, Farezat has learned that in 1960, Samuel took Margaret out of the foster home and moved to New York City. Margaret was born in Stetland, Poland on March 15, 1946. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She may speak with an Eastern European accent. Sadly, she has never been found.
Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the March 10, 1993 episode.
Results: Unsolved. After watching the broadcast, a woman named Shirley Hosler reached out to Farezat and asked to help in her search. Farezat was able to locate her mother's grave, but she has not been able to find her sister Margaret. According to a 2006 article in the Jewish Standard, Farezat is still searching for her sister. If she is still alive, Margaret would now be seventy-two.