The funerals of a San Jose couple might be delayed, yet another tragedy for the tight-knit Bangladesh community, because by California law, the bodies of the parents must be released to their older son.
But since 20-something Hasib Golamrabbi is missing, the bodies of his parents – Golam and Shamima Rabbi – cannot be released until May 4 to anyone else, the Evergreen Islamic Center of San Jose wrote on its Facebook page.
The couple's 17-year-old son, who attends Evergreen High School, is considered a minor and can’t sign the papers to receive his parents, who were found killed in their Lucas Court home in the Evergreen neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. Relatives said they got worried with Golam Rabbi didn't show up for work on Saturday. Family members discovered the bodies, surrounded by chilling messages written on the floor and walls, sources claimed.
According to Islamic law, a body should be buried as soon as possible from the time of death. Most Muslim communities try to bury the dead within 24 hours.
"This is so hard," Golam Rabbi's nephew, Naseer Hasan, 32, of Santa Clara, told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday. "In our religion, we have to bury someone as soon as possible. It's taking so long. We're really upset."
The couple's killer has not yet been found, and sources told NBC Bay Area that messages were scrawled in black magic marker on the floor and wall. One of those messages read: “Sorry, my first killing was clumsy” sources claimed. Another rant ended with something to the effect of: "I can’t be like you, telling a lie. I can’t love someone without telling them."
It is unclear where Haseeb Rabbi has been since his parents were found shot to death; his mother's body was found near the laundry room.
"We don't know where Haseeb is," Hasan said. "Some people tried to call his cell phone on Sunday, but couldn't reach him." He said he is worried about Hasib Golamrabbi's safety.
According to Hasan, both brothers went to an event in Oakland, leaving San Jose on Saturday morning.
San Jose police on Tuesday said they wanted to speak to the family's eldest son, saying that he simply might be able to answer some questions. Police also said that they don't believe the Rabbis death was a "random act of violence," noting that the suspect was "someone familiar to the family." Because the the family is Muslim, and the parents hail from Bangladesh, the police department also stressed that the deaths of the Rabbis are not being investigated as a hate crime.
Hasan said that both parents had a "really good relationship with their kids," and the family was "financially stable." He can't figure out who would want to kill his aunt and uncle.
According to the board of trustees at the mosque where the Rabbis regularly attended, if Haseeb Rabbi still has not come forward by May 4, the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office will release the bodies to Golam Rabbi’s siblings.
“We would like to ask the entire community to pray for the deceased and may Allah (SWT) give their family strength to comprehend these troubling days,” the board message said.
The family hopes to have a funeral at the Five Pillars Farm Cemetery in Livermore.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier versions of the story has misspelled the older son's based on the spelling given by the Evergreen Islamic Center mosque.