THE ELDEST daughter of a Yorkshire businessman who vanished on Valentine’s Day nine years ago said his family remain desperate for answers as she spoke publicly for the first time about the impact of his disappearance.
No trace of Sajid Saddique, of Heaton, Bradford, has been found since he failed to return home from a business meeting in Shipley on 14 February 2007.
Police believe the father-of-three was murdered and in 2014 two men were arrested on suspicion of murder, only for them to be released without charge last November when the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was insufficient evidence to progress.
On the cusk of the anniversary of Mr Saddique’s disappearance, his eldest daughter Neha Saddique, 15, appeared at a police press conference in Bradford and released a statement in which she said: “It was devastating to learn that there was to be no prosecution for the death of my father, but we have never given up hope that we will find out the truth about what happened to him.
“My father was a kind man who loved his family dearly and there is no way that he would have just gone and left us.
“His loss hit us all very hard and we are desperate to find some answers as to why he suddenly disappeared.”
Speaking directly to the Press, the teenager added: “I just want to say that because of what’s happened I think I’m mad my brother and sister will never know their dad.”
Her mother, Mr Siddique’s widow Asma Razaq, urged anyone withholding information from the police to think about her children, who now live with her in Scotland. She said: “I believe there is someone out there who knows what happened. I just want that person to come forward because we need answers and we just want justice.”
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, who is leading the murder investigation, said the length of time since Mr Saddique’s disappearance did not mean justice would not be served - citing the sentencing last month of Anthony John McDonnell, of Whitebridge Avenue, Leeds for the manslaughter of Beeston postman Andrew Batten in 1995.
He added that the case had not “hit a brick wall” and explained how he firmly believes the answers lie in the Bradford area.
“West Yorkshire Police will not rest, this case will never be closed until we get those answers,” Det Sup Atkinson said.
The detective suspects that allegiances or fear may be preventing people from sharing information with police, but he warned: “At some point you have to break those allegiances and do the right thing because at some point the evidence will be produced where we do knock on people’s doors.”
Mr Saddique’s brothers and sisters also released a statement in which they urged anyone with any information, no matter how small, to contact police. They said: “Saj loved his family dearly and cemented us together with his love. We are now a broken family with no answers. We have had to continue to live but our lives remain empty and we miss him every day.
“We have had no answers to so many questions and Saj has not been laid to rest. We can only plea with the public to come forward with information to put some closure as to what happened to our dearly loved brother.”
Together with a local businessman and family friend, they are offering a total of £150,000 for information leading to a conviction in connection with Mr Saddique’s disappearance.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police’s Major Investigation Review Team on 01924 334619 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.