Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 12:11 UK

Vanished man's family heartache

By Alex Moss
BBC News, Bradford

Asma Saddique with Salihah and Keyann
Asma says she has to stay strong for her children

It was Valentine's Day in 2007 when Asma Saddique last saw the man she loves.

The day started as normal. The mother-of-three was busy tending to her young children when her husband Sajid, a car dealer, left their home in Heaton, Bradford, to meet a business associate nearby. He never returned.

"He rang me shortly after he left but I missed his call. I didn't think anything of it, I just thought I'd speak to him when he got home," said Mrs Saddique.

"He was due back at lunchtime to take our daughter Salihah to nursery. When it got past then I rang him, I must have rung him 20 times but it kept going to answer phone.

"I was getting annoyed so I text him, telling him he was selfish, not to bother coming home. How ironic that seems now."

By late afternoon Mrs Saddique, 28, phoned the police and they discovered his Volkswagen Bora abandoned in the car park at Asda supermarket in Shipley.

The friend Mr Saddique met that morning was questioned by officers but no action was taken.

I found a photo of Neha and her dad in her room. She had scribbled out both their faces. That killed me
Asma Saddique

Farmland around Bradford and further afield was probed by forensics officers and sniffer dogs following the disappearance but no trace of Mr Saddique, 32, has been found.

His mobile phones, which he carried at all times and kept constantly charged, were switched off.

West Yorkshire Police said the investigation into Mr Saddique's disappearance remained open, pending new information.

"Police inquiries are ongoing," said a force spokeswoman. "We would ask Sajid, or anyone who knows of his whereabouts, to contact police in Bradford."

Now a single mother of three children - Keyann, two, Salihah, three and Neha, seven - Mrs Saddique's life has changed forever.

"In those first few days after he went missing I was a mess. My life was turned upside down. It was little things like making a cup of tea for one when I usually made two," she said.

Sajid Saddique
Sajid Saddique worked as a car dealer

"When it got past a week I knew he wasn't coming back. The police would tell me they were doing everything but I couldn't accept that because if they were, then surely he would have been found.

"The hardest thing is knowing someone out there knows something. If I had information like that I'd go to the police. How can there be such bad people in the world?"

Her priority now is her children and doing her best to stem the hurt that their father's disappearance will inevitably bring.

"It has affected my eldest daughter Neha the most. She was very close to her dad and there's a lot of anger there.

"I found a photo of Neha and her dad in her room. She had scribbled out both their faces. That killed me.

"The girls show their little brother pictures and say 'dada' but he was too young to remember. I'm glad, I don't want him to have any memories because then he can't miss what he never had.

"I now think that this was meant to happen. I'm a believer in fate and maybe in five or 10 years' time I'll have some answers. But right now I'm not meant to know."




SEE ALSO
New appeal to find missing father
17 Feb 08 |  West Yorkshire

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