Police fear a mum missing for eight months, who has never met her first grandchild, may have been murdered.
Naheed Khan, 43, from Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, was reported missing on 12 June, but had not been seen by her family for three weeks before that.
There have been several unconfirmed sightings of her since she vanished, but Cleveland Police confirmed she had not accessed her bank account or used her mobile phone since her disappearance.
Chief Superintendent Jon Green confirmed in a statement that, given the lack of proof of her life, the force is treating the case as a suspected murder.
“Over the last few months a dedicated team of officers have worked tirelessly to try to trace Naheed,” he said.
“Our enquiries have now led us to believe that, sadly, she has either been murdered or come to harm at the hands of other people and we are now dealing with the case as suspected murder.
“It is highly out-of-character for her not to return home or be in touch with her family for this length of time. The fact she has also not seen her first grandchild is concerning.”
Posters appealing for information have been distributed across Cleveland and more than 300 house-to-house enquiries will be carried out in areas of Stockton and Middlesbrough over the next few days.
As widespread search efforts were underway last year, the missing woman’s mother, Gazala Khan, explained that she now had a newborn granddaughter who she has never met.
“It been an incredibly stressful time worrying about my daughter,” she told The Mirror.
Khan is described as being of Asian appearance, of slim build and around 5ft 6ins, with long, dark hair.
Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.