Brother of woman found dead on golf course in 2016 in fresh appeal for help

The brother of a woman found dead on a golf course months after she went missing has made an emotional appeal for information five years on from her disappearance.

Saima Ahmed is believed to have taken a train from London to Edinburgh, via Hemel Hempstead and Birmingham, when she was reported missing on Sunday August 30, 2015 as the Edinburgh Festival season was coming to a close.

Unconfirmed sightings of people matching the 36-year-old’s description at the time were made at Portobello beach near Edinburgh, but her body was not found until January 9 2016 in the grounds of Gogarburn Golf Course.

Her death has been treated as unexplained, with many details still missing despite a “painstaking investigation” by police.

Her brother Sadat Ahmed on Friday returned to Edinburgh for the first time since August 2016 to make the renewed appeal for information.

Sadat Ahmed
Sadat Ahmed

He said: “We as a family still don’t have any closure, we don’t know what’s happened, we still don’t have any answers and we just want to make an appeal to everyone, anyone who she might have talked to.

“She’s very inquisitive so she was in areas she’s never been to before, she would ask questions, I imagine she would have spoken to someone.

“We think about it every day, we don’t get any answers, we don’t know why – none of it makes sense to us.

“The time hasn’t helped at all.

“Every time we think of a scenario it doesn’t make sense to us… it’s so out of character to come here to Edinburgh on her own.

“It’s been really hard for my parents and they’re not well, the whole thing has had an effect on them.

Sadat Ahmed with Detective Superintendent Martin MacLean
Sadat Ahmed with Detective Superintendent Martin MacLean

“Even how you enter Edinburgh and then how you get to this area, it’s not somewhere you typically walk to, I imagine, on your own so there must have been contact with people.

“Someone must know something, they must have a conscience. I’d like to think they’d come forward and tell us something.

“But as every year goes by you lose confidence in getting answers, but we’ll never stop, we’ll never give up hope.”

Detective Superintendent Martin MacLean said the Portobello sightings potentially came on the Sunday evening she was reported missing, and again by a dog walker on the Monday morning.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have interacted with Ms Ahmed – whether a taxi or bus driver, someone at a bed and breakfast, or someone she travelled to Edinburgh to meet.

Mr MacLean told the PA news agency: “The thorough and painstaking Police Scotland investigation has so far still unfortunately not been able to identify what Saima did when she arrived in Edinburgh.

Saima Ahmed
Saima Ahmed

“Today’s appeal is to go back out to the public to ask for anybody out there who can help us with Saima’s movements… she’s had to travel from the train station, probably to the east of the city and then back across the city.

“The passage of time from Saima going missing to when her remains were recovered has been the biggest challenge because a lot of the CCTV opportunities disappear.

“We’ve exhausted every line of inquiry… she travelled alone, she wasn’t – as far as we can ascertain – travelling to meet anybody, which is not to say that she didn’t meet somebody but we’ve got no evidence to suggest that, and the extensive forensic work that we did with Saima’s remains has not provided any evidence of criminality.

“If anybody wants to come forward, either in confidence or directly, to contact Police Scotland or Crimestoppers and we will actively follow up every and any line of inquiry that we get from any member of the public.”