Ruby Angela Saleh has paid tribute to her baby brother, Fahim Saleh, the millionaire tech wizard violently and viciously killed and dismembered in his Lower East Side apartment, allegedly by his assistant, who police said had been embezzling money.
One month after his unspeakable death, Saleh gave a heart wrenching video tribute while also expressing gratitude to friends and colleagues for their heartfelt messages.
The four-minute, 19-second video opens up with Saleh sitting in front of a mantle that features photos of her late brother.
"On July 13, 2020, exactly one month ago, my brother returned from a three-mile run and was murdered in his apartment. As I reminisce about Fahim, I know that he was the most special gift given to us, and then taken away," she said.
When she learned of the news and saw the gruesome headlines, her reaction was one of horror. "This was my baby brother they were talking about. My Fahim, whom, when I was eight years old, my parents brought home from the hospital to me in an orange fleece blanket."
In a moving essay published Thursday on Medium, Saleh described her brother as a "brilliant, creative, spontaneous, whimsical [person] and generous to a fault." She shared with readers that she and her family's life's mission is now to make sure that Fahim gets justice.
"My brother's death was a crime of the most cruel and heinous nature," she wrote. "My family and I are in such debilitating pain. Our beautiful boy was taken from us, and it doesn't feel life can ever be joyful again."
Four days after Fahim's body was found, police arrested his former executive assistant, 21-year-old Tyrese Devon Haspil.
Haspil allegedly stole about $90,000 from Fahim, and when Fahim discovered the theft, he fired Haspil, but did not report the alleged theft to police, The New York Times reported. Instead, Fahim offered Haspil an opportunity to work off his debt.
Instead, prosecutors say, Haspil killed Fahim, fleeing Fahim's apartment only after a family member went to check on him after he had not responded to their efforts to reach him.
Haspil has been charged with second-degree murder. He has been ordered held without bail. He has pleaded not guilty.
“We urge the public to keep an open mind,” the lawyers said. “There is much more to this narrative than the accusations, an arrest by the police and a charge by the district attorney.”
Only a few weeks since his passing, Saleh's grief is sometimes too much to bear, she wrote, noting, "… an unbearable reality that it is, letting me see nothing but darkness and feel nothing but piercing pain in every quadrant of my heart."
"Sometimes it still doesn't feel real that Fahim is gone," wrote Saleh, who added she felt more like a mother to him than a sister.
"I gave him baths; I changed his diapers," she recalled. "When he was a toddler too wild to finish a meal, I ran after him with spoonfuls of rice and chicken."
Raised in Bangladesh, the 33-year-old entrepreneur that was from a tight-knit family was described by his sister as a precocious, curious, active, and happy child. His love for technology began early. And, a wicked entrepreneurial spirit that demonstrated that Fahim was destined for great things.
His first business venture was at 10 when he bought candy from the local dollar store and sold it at a mark-up to his schoolmate during recess. That ended when the principal found out.
His next endeavor was jewelry. He asked his dad for an advance on his birthday present for a jewelry making kit, and in no time started creating beaded bracelets and necklaces that he sold at that neighborhood playground.
At 12, when he discovered the Internet, his life became even busier. He built his first website (The Saleh Family). Soon after, he found he could make money creating websites. By age 13, he monetized his first website and at 17, moved onto his own Internet business he co-founded with his best friend that proved so fruitful, he was able to become financially independent and put himself through college at Bentley University.
Demonstrating his passion and fortitude for the things he cared about, Saleh wrote about the time her brother turned down a $50,000-a-year IT job after graduating from college so he could continue building his hobby, that included pranks and surprises, into a lucrative business.
As Fahim matured, his sister said, he wanted to change people's lives through technology and employ those who were impoverished. He achieved that with Gokada, the motorbike-hailing app he developed in Nigeria.
"Having come from so little, Fahim had zero interest in being a rich entrepreneur who only hung out with other rich entrepreneurs. His heart was most open to those in need," she said. "'These drivers depend on me,' he [Fahim] would say when talking about Gokada."
Saleh added, "Just as he had once been determined to ease our father's hardships, he later dedicated himself to easing countless others' hardships."
A kind and selfless person with a heart of gold, Fahim had an infectious smile and unwavering spirit, his sister wrote. "In 2018, when he was working in Nigeria, he flew over 5,000 miles to surprise our mother in New York with flowers on Mother's Day."
Saleh said she last saw her brother one year ago when he visited and met her daughter. "He flew to another continent to surprise me and meet his new baby niece," she recalled.
Saleh asked the public for their support to ensure that her brother gets the justice he deserves. "Someone had cut my brother's body into pieces and tossed the pieces into a garbage bag, as if his life, his body, his existence had no meaning or value," she said.
"My family and I will do everything in our power to keep Fahim's memory alive and to keep his visions ongoing," she added.
She ended her video with a plea to fellow sisters, saying between sobs, "If you are someone's sister the next time you see your brother please hug him as tightly as you can for as long as you want, because that is all I want to do every time I see those photos but I will never be able to hug Fahim again."