“It was a sunny day. I was in this incredibly great mood. Then my mum phoned me and that call changed my whole world.”
Miriam Siddiqi recalls the horror of 11 April 2010, the day her 17-year-old little brother Aamir was murdered at home in front of their parents.
His killers were two hit men who went to the wrong address in Roath, Cardiff.
A decade on, police have appealed for information about “Wales’ most-wanted man” in connection with the murder.
Jason Richards and Ben Hope were jailed in 2013.
A third man, Mohammed Ali Ege, 42, from Cardiff, was arrested in India in 2011 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder but escaped custody before he could be extradited.
The hunt for him continues.
South Wales Police said Mr Ege has become one of “Europe’s most wanted fugitives” and his face appears on the Europol website as law enforcement agencies from around the world try to return him to the UK.
“You relive the day it happened and, honestly, it doesn’t feel like 10 years ago to us,” said Miriam, 37.
It was a sunny Sunday when she last spoke to Aamir, while she was on her way out to buy him lunch as a reward for his studying.
She said: “It was just a really normal Siddiqi family morning. Everyone was happy, laughing and joking.”
But the day turned for Miriam when she later got a phone call from her mother who was screaming – Aamir had been attacked. He was gone.
“It flips you upside down. There’s nothing else I can say to describe how that makes you feel,” Miriam said. “This wasn’t even my worst nightmare. I couldn’t even imagine something like this happening.”
It later emerged Richards and Hope, who were high on heroin at the time, had gone to the wrong house for the fatal attack.
They had burst into Aamir’s home in balaclavas, screeching and stabbing him in the hallway, with his parents trying in vain to fight them off.
Alongside the grief for Aamir, Miriam said her parents were left with the trauma of the attack, adding: “I think that’s going to take a lifetime for us to try to heal.”
But Miriam, who is a life coach, said her family focused on the positives of Aamir’s life and constantly talked about the teenager, who had hoped to work in law and eventually politics.
“He gave us a lifetime-supply of happy memories,” Miriam said.
“Obviously, there is immense sadness – we’ve lost him and he was the heart and soul of our family – but his memory is still very firmly in our everyday lives.”
However, the search for Mohammed Ali Ege, who escaped from custody at a New Delhi railway station toilet in April 2017, still hurts.
“Because it is still an open case it is an open wound and it does make it difficult for my parents to find closure,” Miriam said.
11 April 2010: Aamir Siddiqi is brutally stabbed to death at his house
September 2010: Police offer a reward of up to £10,000 in their search for Mohammed Ali Ege
October 2011: Mr Ege is arrested in India on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, the extradition process begins
1 February 2013: Jason Richards and Ben Hope are found guilty of murder
12 February 2013: Both men are sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 40 years
January 2014: The men appeal against their sentences
June 2014: The Court of Appeal rejects their claim
April 2017: Police in India say Mr Ege, who is also accused of passport and identity forgery, was awaiting extradition but escaped after being taken to a court hearing
April 2019: Mr Ege named Wales’ “most-wanted man”
July 2019: London and Cardiff searches conducted for Mr Ege
Det Insp Stuart Wales of South Wales Police attended the scene on the day Aamir died and is now the senior investigating officer in the international effort to find Mr Ege.
“If the events of that day don’t drive you forward, you’re possibly in the wrong job,” he said.
“Being there on the day and experiencing the immediate aftermath has given me a certain insight that maybe others may not have.”
He appealed for anyone with information, anywhere in the world, to get in contact with the authorities.
“Allow us to do our job in locating Mr Ege and help Aamir’s family to draw a line under this madness,” he added.
DI Wales remains “confident” police would catch Mr Ege, with an international arrest notification and a European arrest warrant still in effect.
“South Wales Police is not going to stop looking,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Aamir’s family – including his two other sisters, Nishat, 43, and Umbareen, 41 – Miriam appealed directly to the wanted man.
“You must be tired. You must be exhausted. And if you are feeling an ounce of exhaustion, can you imagine the turmoil my parents are going through?
“Please stop running so that my parents can get closure,” she said.
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