THE widow of a Yorkshire businessman thought to have been murdered after vanishing without trace in 2007 has moved with her children to Scotland in a bid to escape the torment of life without her husband.
Asma Razaq admitted the disappearance of Sajid Saddique has been like an “open wound” and she wanted a fresh start for her and the couple’s three children.
Mr Saddique, 32, of Heaton, Bradford, disappeared on Valentine’s Day seven years ago after telling his family he was going to a business meeting.
West Yorkshire Police confirmed in February that the case had become a murder inquiry after new information emerged and two Bradford men aged 48 and 52 have been arrested and bailed on suspicion of murder.
Ms Razaq, who made a public appeal for information, said she was shocked to learn the case had turned from a missing person inquiry into a murder probe.
She told The Yorkshire Post: “I always felt like something bad had happened but until someone has said ‘yes, it has’, it wouldn’t quite sink in. It has always been that I am waiting for the police to come and knock on my door and tell me this is what has happened.
“When someone passes away you have this process and there is a funeral but because that hasn’t happened it was always in my mind like an open wound.”
The 32-year-old, whose husband was a car trader at Sandy Lane Garage in Allerton, Bradford, moved to Edinburgh last year with her two daughters, aged 13 and nine, and seven-year-old son.
She said: “It was just to get away from everything that has happened. We have had a tough time down south and I just wanted to move away and try to make a fresh start. It is difficult because of the situation, we are still in limbo, we still need closure.
“We moved last summer, I went up with the kids. They went up for the Easter break and the children really enjoyed themselves and said they wanted to stay. It was a bit surprising, because it was the first time we had been.
“We went up again and we had a good time and we were at peace. It just seems so different and calm and so laid-back. I just thought this was a good place to start over.”
Ms Razaq said her children had come to terms with what had happened to their father better than she expected. “My eldest accepted a long time ago that something bad happened to her dad and she is not going to see him again,” she added.
“I spent days and weeks thinking ‘how I am I going to tell them?’ They took it quite well considering.
“My younger two have spent years asking questions like ‘where is my dad?’ and later they started asking questions like ‘is he dead?’ and I didn’t know what to say to them. When I finally told them it was like they already knew. My son’s reaction was: ‘I hope the police catch them and throw them in jail.’ I felt like it was affecting me more than them.”
Ms Razaq said she feared “things have been overlooked” in the original police investigation into her husband’s disappearance and that “1,000 things have gone through my mind about what has gone on”.
She added: “He was a good person, he would go out of his way to help anyone, whether it was his family or someone else out there. If someone was broken down on the road he would pull over and help, so it doesn’t make any sense why someone would want to hurt him.
“It is evil and wrong for someone to do that to anyone, even if they are a bad person. If someone is a good person, why would you do that?”