Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Crimewatch reveals 'new sighting' of woman found dead at Gogar

Saima Ahmed Image copyright Police Scotland

Police are appealing for information after a possible new sighting of a London woman who was later found dead on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The remains of Saima Ahmed, 36, were discovered on Saturday 9 January at Gogar Mount House, on the edge of nearby Gogarburn Golf Club.

Officers say she may have been spotted months earlier on Portobello beach - after travelling to the city in August.

Ms Ahmed's death is still being treated as unexplained.

A man walking his dog spoke with a woman on the city beach, who was walking alone and who closely matched Ms Ahmed's description, at about 10:30 on a Monday in August, possibly 31 August, although an exact date is unknown.

The woman said she had wanted to see the beach and how she had travelled up from London and was going back down later the same day.

The police want to know if she stayed in a guest house there the night before, possibly on Sunday 30 August.

Image copyright Police Scotland

Ms Ahmed's exact movements as she travelled to Scotland remain unconfirmed.

However, detectives now believe she bought a Birmingham to Edinburgh rail ticket at Birmingham New Street Station at about 17:00 on Sunday 30 August 2015.

Officers said there is a strong possibility she then boarded one of two Edinburgh bound services - either the 17:15 Virgin service due to arrive at Edinburgh Waverley at 22:22, or the 13:30 Virgin Cross Country Network (via York), which was due to arrive at 22:21.

Det Ch Insp Martin MacLean, of Police Scotland, appeared on the BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow on Wednesday to appeal for information.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption CCTV of Ms Ahmed at Wembley Central Railway Station

He said: "Saima's death remains unexplained, and, at this time, whilst there is nothing to suggest any criminality, we need to keep an open mind and strive to find the answers to many questions that remain for Saima's family.

"My team's investigations have uncovered new evidence that appears to help narrow down Saima's arrival time into Edinburgh although admittedly we cannot be sure which train she boarded.

"We also cannot discount the possibility that once in Edinburgh she travelled to the beachfront at Portobello and I would be very interested to hear from anyone who might have seen her in that area.

"Given that she is not from the area it is likely that she would have relied on public transport in order to get around the city and as such I would urge regular users of buses or trams, including drivers of course, to think back and get in touch with police if you have any relevant information."

Her brother, Sadat Ahmed, also took part in the three-minute live TV appeal. He said: "Saima was a very loving and caring person and part of a very close family. We are just devastated.

"There was nothing out of the ordinary on the day she left and we have absolutely no idea why she travelled to Edinburgh as we have no family links there."

Ms Ahmed, a 36-year-old divorced librarian, left her home in Wembley on 30 August.

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