BAFFLED detectives are struggling to understand how the body of a London woman was found on an Edinburgh golf course – with no evidence of criminal involvement or mental health issues.
Yesterday (THURS) police announced that DNA testing had revealed the skeletal remains found in Gogar in January are those of Saima Ahmed – who was reported missing by family in August.
The 36 year old librarian and shop assistant was last seen heading north from Wembley by train last year – but there is no evidence of why she was making the journey or what route she took.
The discovery of her remains on January 9 sparked a major investigation, with special forensic officers called in to comb the scene for clues.
But in a press conference yesterday (THURS) the mystery deepened – as police said that Saima had never travelled to Edinburgh, had no connection to the area and there was no evidence that she was suffering from ill mental health.
Speaking at the conference, DCI Mark MacLean also said there has been no evidence of criminality and the death is currently being treated as unexplained and a mystery.
Quizzed over her mental state, he replied that the police were pursuing it as a line of inquiry but that she had nothing formally diagnosed.
He also said that they were entertaining the possibility that she had met someone online, but her family are insistent that she has no connections to the Edinburgh area.
Discussing her relationship with them he added that here had been nothing significant, and actually nothing of any even minor significance to suggest a falling out in the days prior to her disappearance.
He added: “Samia was a quiet-living woman who was much-loved by her family – it was a close knit family.
She is survived by her mother, her father, two brothers and a sister. She very much adored her nieces and nephews.
“The day that she disappeared she was due to be working at the library and left home that morning and everybody in her family thought that she was going to work, and her work were expecting her that day, but she didn’t turn up.
Speaking about her death, he added: “I’m satisfied that the collective circumstances suggest that Saima died very close to the time that she was reported missing.
“Suffice to say that the effects of the elements, the passage of time and nature taking its course caused us fairly significant logistical problems”
“The family have been fully cooperative and extremely helpful.
“There are certain aspects that they are finding difficult to comprehend and I’ve had some very frank discussions with them about what the possibilities might be.
Some are difficult for them to get to grips with or comprehend or potentially believe, but they’ve given us their full cooperation.”
He also appealed to the public for witnesses: “I would urge any regular rail users who may have been on these services or any services that might have come from London to Edinburgh to please think carefully, examine the images that we’re providing to the media and get in touch with Police Scotland.
“I want to hear from anybody who might have seen her on her rail journey, or while she was in Edinburgh, or who can help explain how she made her way to the Gogarstone area of Edinburgh, whether by tram, train, taxi, private hire car or any other means.
The investigation is being described as UK-wide as officers have also yet to establish exactly how she travelled from London to Edinburgh – and hope the details of her travel may give them clues.
On the last day her whereabouts were known she left her home in Wembley at 8.30am, where she was captured on CCTV at around 10.00am.
She then withdrew cash at a local ATM, and boarded a train for Watford Junction at 10.18am.
Her exact movements after are unconfirmed although police believe she then boarded a train bound for Northampton at 11.06am.
But between August and January her movements are a complete mystery – and it appears that she travelled to the city of Edinburgh with only a handbag.
Saima is described as an Asian, around 5ft 5ins tall, medium build, with shoulder length straight dark hair. She was last seen wearing a dark long v-neck top, black trousers, black shoes and a black jacket.
In a statement issued through Police Scotland Saima’s family said: “We, Saima’s family are extremely saddened and shocked by the death of Saima.
“She was a very loving and caring person who was part of a very close family.
“We are hoping someone can provide some information as to Saima’s journey on the 30th of August 2015 and help us to understand what happened to her.