South East Wales

Missing Nida Naseer: Henna Foundation appeals for her return

nida naseer, right
A CCTV image of Nida, on the right in black, taken in TK Maxx on 26 December, two days before she vanished

A charity for Muslim women has appealed for missing teenager Nida Naseer to return home.

The 18-year-old has not been seen since she went to put out the bins out at her home in Pill, Newport on 28 December.

The Henna Foundation and Gwent Police held a joint news conference in the city appealing for the sixth-form student to come home.

A CCTV image of Pakistan-born Nida, taken just before she disappeared, has been released by the force.

When she disappeared, Nida was not wearing shoes and did not have any of her possessions - phone, money or coat - with her.

Members of her family have previously told police marriage "was not an issue" and Nida did not have a history or depression or self harm.

'Family desperate'

Shahien Taj, executive director at the Henna Foundation which gives Muslim families support and advice, said: "Nida may well be apprehensive about getting in touch or may think that she has to return home if she does but I want to reassure her that she doesn't.

"The community and her family just want to know that she is safe and well so a simple phone call is all it takes."

A team of 20 officers have been dedicated to the search but Supt Mark Warrender said nothing specific had prompted the latest appeal.

"Nida's disappearance really is a mystery and one line of enquiry is that Nida may well not want to be found," he said.

"She is an adult and if she wants to stay away that is her choice.

"But her family are desperate to know that she is safe and well which is why the Henna Foundation are encouraging her to get in touch with them if she feels more comfortable in doing so.

"For our part, we are continuing to search CCTV and to look into any information that comes in, but we really haven't had any information since her disappearance that would lead us to the positive identification of Nida."

He added: "We continue to keep in touch with Nida's family and to keep them updated with any progress and support them.

"Our message to Nida would be that even if she doesn't want to return home for whatever reason, we would urge her to get in touch with anyone she feels comfortable contacting."

Asylum-seeker

Nida's family sought asylum after coming to the UK from Pakistan five years ago. Their application was turned down a year ago and they are currently appealing.

They believe Nida vanished because their asylum-seeker status barred her from attending university.

The student wants to pursue a career as a marketing or finance manager, her family have said.

Police have searched streams and areas around the Transporter Bridge and George Street bridge.

They have also scoured land near the Lysaght Institute, and Pill Millennium centre.

Nida was last seen wearing jeans and a black top. She has long dark hair, is slim and 5ft 3in (1.6m) tall.

Gwent Police want anyone with information to contact 101.

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