When the rainy weather clears, Oakland police will send divers into an estuary to search for the car of a missing San Jose physician.

Surface and fly-over searches were conducted of the Oakland estuary shortly after Zehra Attari disappeared on Nov. 7. But those searches — and numerous ground searches — have turned up no sign of the 55-year-old pediatrician.

“We’re hoping something breaks pretty soon,” Oakland Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan said Tuesday. “We had an extensive search after this happened but we will be sending some divers in there.”

Attari, who lived in San Jose but worked in Oakland, disappeared after leaving her office on International Boulevard to attend a meeting in Alameda, about five miles away. Neither she nor her 2001 Honda Accord — with license plate 4MUH810 — have been seen since she drove away just after 5 p.m. on that rainy Monday night.

“She’s been missing for three weeks now, and we don’t know where she is,” said Sameena Usman, outreach coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “The only way to get to the root of this is to get the FBI involved.”

On behalf of Attari’s family, the private, non-profit civil rights organization began an online petition drive late Monday asking that the FBI “get fully involved in searching for Dr. Zehra Attari.” The petition is addressed to numerous public officials, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and California’s two U.S. senators.


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