Christine Mustafa search: Family, friends warned woman to get out of relationship

Posted at 7:45 PM, May 24, 2017

Christine Mustafa was afraid of her live-in boyfriend, and wanted to get out of the relationship, according to a search warrant filed in court by Phoenix police.

Now, friends and family are speaking out about the alleged violence they say they witnessed in the rocky on-off relationship between the couple.

Erin Neatherly was once friends with Mustafa's boyfriend. That is how she met the quiet, shy mother.

Neatherly said he introduced her as his "roommate" but she instantly knew there was more to their relationship.

"He was charming, a smooth talker, a little bit manipulative, and kind of a player," said Neatherly.

ABC15 is not releasing the boyfriend's name as police have not identified him as a suspect in Mustafa's disappearance, just "a person of interest".

Neatherly said it was unsettling to her to see the way he treated Mustafa, but over time as she tried to say something to her, Mustafa would brush it off.

"He was on steroids, testosterone, so he was very moody. He had a very quick temper. I saw him get really mad, get in people's faces, and just lose control of himself when we were hiking," Neatherly remembers.

She started distancing herself from the couple, as the behavior made her uncomfortable. Neatherly said she didn't like the way the boyfriend treated Mustafa.

"Curt, dismissive, just very rude to her," she added.

Not all of Mustafa's sisters knew what was going on in her relationship. She kept a lot of things to herself, but one sister in Maryland says she witnessed some of the violence first hand.

"He would basically go off for no reason. He was extremely jealous, physically and mentally abusive, he tried to keep her away from her family," said Suzanne Wong, Mustafa's sister. "Just a very, very controlling, insecure and jealous human being."

She said Mustafa had been trying to leave that relationship for about a year.

Court documents stated the boyfriend would repeatedly call her at work, accuse of her cheating, and even threatened to kill her.

"I just knew that she had to get away," said Wong.

ABC15 asked Wong if she had ever witnessed any physical violence.

"He literally pulled her by her hair, shoved her out of the car shoeless, purse-less, phone-less. She was hopelessly running down the street begging for help,"said Wong.

Mustafa's sister also described holes all over the walls of their home.

"He had holes allover the house. He had taken one of the doors off from the frame, it was horrible," she added.

The words that haunt her to this day, spoken by the sister she was trying to protect, "Christine would always tell me, 'If I ever go missing, I just want you to know that he took me, and he did something to me.'"

The family is now just desperate for closure, hoping they can find their sister and have some peace in their lives that have been shaken up, for the last two weeks.