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'I want my sister back,' says brother of missing Lake Forest woman

May 27, 2010 |  2:53 pm

The brother of a Lake Forest woman who went missing this week pleaded Thursday for anyone with information about the whereabouts of his sister to come forward.

“I just want my sister back,” said Mahmood Hossain, 49, brother of Salma Husna Banu, who was reported missing Wednesday. “I don’t have any information. I don’t know details.”

Hossain spoke by phone from a command center set up by authorities searching for Banu in a Rancho Santa Margarita wilderness park area.

Hossain said he learned Banu, 40, was missing after her husband called Wednesday morning to inform him. He immediately traveled from his home in Reseda to his sister’s Lake Forest home.

According to officials at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Banu — known as "Polly" — was last seen Wednesday between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., when she dropped her children off at home. She said she was going to the store, authorities said.

The four-door green Ford Excursion that Banu was driving was later found in Rancho Santa Margarita, authorities said.

More than a dozen members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department's search and rescue team began to look for Banu at 6 a.m. Thursday at Melinda Road and Altisima, a wooded wilderness area, authorities said. By 2:30 p.m., they had not found her.

Banu is 5-feet-5 and weighs 130 pounds with brown eyes and short brown hair. She was wearing a purple shirt and blue jeans, authorities said.

Anyone with information is asked to call authorities at (714) 647-7055.

-- Ann M. Simmons