A MISSING businesswoman at the centre of a police search left behind all her personal belongings – including her mobile phone.
Khalsoam Ali, 40, went missing two weeks ago after she returned home from a friend’s house in Edinburgh.
Ms Ali set up her own cafe, The Sewing Bee, in January but had run in to problems which meant it never opened.
The premises in Leith were to be the first in the city to hold “sewcial” (corr) events at which people could rent sewing machines and make their own clothes.
But Ms Ali disappeared without trace from her tenement flat in Dryden Street, Leith, on March 7.
Police have now renewed an appeal for information about Ms Ali, saying they are increasingly concerned for her safety.
A friend of the missing woman, Nicola Glennie, has revealed on Facebook that she received a text from her late on the night she disappeared.
Posting on the Social Bee Cafe page, she wrote: “I last got a text from Kal at 22.55 on the 7th. We were arranging to pick up stuff from the shop.”
Today, (Wednesday) neighbours of Khalsoam revealed that she had left everything behind.
One neighbour who lives below Kal in her Dryden Street tenement flat said: “I’m scared something might have happened to her. It’s scary that she has just disappeared. The police said she left everything personal behind, including her mobile phone. I just hope she turns up safely.”
Another neighbour who did not want to be named said: “She moved in at the beginning of January but I have not seen her for quite a while. Police have been searching the rail line nearby looking for evidence but we don’t know much yet.”
Inquiries have also taken officers to the Bruntsfield area, where she had visited friends before disappearing.
Ms Ali was due to open her new business in January but according to a neighbouring business, the café never launched.
A barmaid at the Brass Monkey, next door to her sewing shop in Leith Walk, said: “She was in here everyday. The kitchen had an agreement with her to bake for her café once it got up and running but it never did.
“She was having problems with the sign, and she was waiting for someone to come and fix it but no one ever showed up. She never got around to opening,” she added.
When asked if Kal was having financial complications with the business, the woman declined to comment.
One shopkeeper whose business is around the corner from Ms Ali’s home said,: “There is no sense of community anymore. People can go missing and their neighbours won’t even realise. It’s scary,” he added.
Kal is described as Asian, 5ft 4ins tall, with a medium build, straight dark brown hair with a fringe, a large freckle on her right cheek, and brown eyes.
In a statement released on behalf of her family, Kal’s sister Hazra Iqbal said: “Kal, if you are reading this we want you to know that we all love you dearly, and it doesn’t matter what has happened in the past, we just want you to come home, where we will be able to help you.
“Please find a way to let us know that you are safe and well, and if you don’t want to contact us then please let your friends or the police know that you’re ok.”
She added: “We are appealing to anyone who has spoken to or seen Kal in the last two weeks to contact the police as soon as possible. We are all very worried for her, and we are desperate for any information that can reassure us that she is safe.”
Inspector Ian Davis of Lothian and Borders Police said: “Kal has not been seen or heard from for two weeks now, and we are growing increasingly concerned for her safety the longer she remains missing.
“Anyone who has seen or heard from her since she went missing is urged to contact police immediately.
“I would also like to appeal to Kal directly to make contact with police, family or friends as soon as possible to let us know that she is safe and well.”
Anyone with information should contact Lothian and Borders Police.