Heartbroken husband appeals for help over wife’s disappearance

Fatima Mohamed-Ali, pictured with her husband, has been missing from her home in Newhaven, Sussex, since February 12, 2016.
Fatima Mohamed-Ali, pictured with her husband, has been missing from her home in Newhaven, Sussex, since February 12, 2016.

By Lauren Codling

THE husband of a missing woman said he still struggles to leave the house after her “devastating” disappearance almost two years ago.

Fatima Mohamed-Ali has been missing from her home in Newhaven, Sussex, since February 12, 2016.

Fatima, who was born in Zanzibar, was last seen on CCTV footage at 8am heading in the direction of the town centre. She has never been seen since.

Her husband Mohamed Mohamed-Ali, 58, was the last family member to see his wife alive.

He left for work around 7:30am after saying goodbye to his wife.

“Everything was normal,” he said. “The night before, we had watched television together and she played on the iPad. The morning of, she made me breakfast and I told her I would see her later.”

Fatima, who was 52 at the time of her disappearance, was wearing a plain beige coat and traditional Indian dress. She is described as 5’ 2” in height, slim and with shoulder-length black hair that was worn in a ponytail.

She did not appear to have taken anything personal, such as a purse or mobile phone, with her.

Fatima Mohamed-Ali has been missing since February 2016

Mohamed-Ali said his wife had no reason to be leaving the house at such an early time in the morning, adding she had never shown any signs of mental health problems or indicated she was going to leave.

“Fatima was just such a wonderful person,” Mohamed-Ali said. “She loved her family. She loved her children and her grandchildren so much.”

The couple, who had been married since 1982, have three children together; Fareeda, 33, Sakina, 30, and Aliakbar, 23. Their son, especially, was very close to his mother.

“It has devastated us all, but my son and Fatima were very, very close,” he said. “My son and I barely leave the house anymore.”

Fatima and her son, Aliakbar

Mohamed-Ali is currently working as a supervisor in the electronics industry; he has been working in the company since 1999 and only recently went back to work after his wife’s disappearance.

“It has been very difficult,” he said. “There have been times when I have cried at work, but my colleagues are so understanding. They are like my second family.”

According to a missing persons data report for 2014/15 conducted by National Crime Agency (NCA), police forces across England and Wales reported there were 282,066 missing person-related calls, of which 210,632 were created as incidents, in relation to 129,046 individuals.

Research by the Missing People Charity said 79 per cent of missing people return or are found within 24 hours. Only two per cent remain missing for longer than a week.

Since her disappearance, there have been no leads regarding Fatima’s whereabouts.

“We hope and pray someone will come forward who has seen something – especially in the Newhaven area,” he said. “Someone must have seen her on that day as she was walking into town. Was she picked up by a taxi? We just don’t know.”

Mohamed-Ali praised the police and local community, who he said have done everything they can to help find his wife.

“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” he said. “The Missing People charity are very supportive too, they’ve all been so helpful.”

The Missing People charity is the only organisation in the UK which is dedicated to bringing missing children and adults back with their families.

The charity offers support via a confidential helpline, which is kept open 24/7 courtesy of funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The couple in happier times

Mohamed-Ali, who has known Fatima since childhood, added that he just wants his wife to
come home.

“My message to her would be to let us know she is safe and to come back to her family,” he said. “We miss and love her so much.”

If you have information about Fatima, or any other missing person, call or text 116 000 or email [email protected]