The sister of murdered Lindsay Jo Rimer said today that not knowing who killed the Yorkshire teenager has been a “life sentence” for her family.
More than two decades have passed since 13-year-old Lindsay was last seen in Hebden Bridge on November 7, 1994, and the detective leading the hunt for her killer said he was still waiting for the “golden nugget of information that will finally crack the case”.
This Sunday marks 20 years since the teenager’s body was discovered in the Rochdale Canal at the end of a five-month search involving dozens of detectives.
As police continue to appeal for information about the case, Lindsay’s sister Kate Rimer has spoke publicly for the first time in a short video describing how the past 20 years have affected her and her family.
Ms Rimer, who now lives on the South Coast, said: “I was 20 at the time and still remember when mum called me to say my little sister was missing. I felt instantly that something was wrong. And then five months later she was found.
“From the beginning we have been filled with grief and we cannot stop the grief and instead remember her with love until this comes to an end.
We miss her so much but every memory of her is tainted.Kate Rimer
“We miss her so much but every memory of her is tainted, it is so painful and bleeds into everything we do. It is about time this came to an end, it is a life sentence for this family.
“I now live on the South Coast and when my daughter started school the teacher had moved from Bradford and, on noticing the surname, asked if she was related to Lindsay. She had to say that Lindsay would have been her auntie.”
By speaking out she is hoping that the killer will finally admit what they have done, or that someone who knows the killer or has been keeping suspicions back decides to come forward.
In a message posted on Facebook last year, Ms Rimer said she had “no belief that the person responsible could care less about the impact on us, the punishment that we have been living through year after godforsaken year”.
She added: “I have no faith that they will see our appeals and feel that now is the time to confess and I’m tired of hoping there will be an end to this story.”
On November 7 1994, Lindsay left her home on Cambridge Street, Hebden Bridge, to go to the shops, according to West Yorkshire Police.
She paused briefly at the Trades Club on Holme Street, where she met her mother, before moving on to Crown Street. She was last seen at the Spa shop on Crown Street, where she had gone to buy cornflakes, just after 10.22pm.
CCTV from the store was released by police as they marked the 20th anniversary of her disappearance in November. A reconstruction of the case and appeal were also carried out using the social media website Twitter.
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, who is leading the investigation, said: “We did a massive round of publicity on the anniversary of Lindsay’s disappearance and that helped generate some important leads that we are following up.
“Despite the passage of time, publicity like this really helps and our appeal last time helped us find someone who was in the supermarket at the time when Lindsay was last seen.
“It is information like this that can really help an investigation. We are, however, still waiting for that one ‘golden nugget’ of information that will finally crack the case and bring closure to Lindsay’s grieving family.
“Anyone who watches the clip of Kate’s interview will be moved by what she has to say. It is clear that the pain still runs as deep as it did 20 years ago and nothing will ever completely erase the memory but bringing Lindsay’s killer to justice will at least bring some closure to the family.”
Mr Atkinson said someone knew what had happened to Lindsay and appealed for them to come forward. He said: “For 20 years Lindsay’s family have had to live with the pain and the hurt of not knowing what happened to her as her killer continues to enjoy their liberty.”
Anyone with information should call police on 01924 334604 or text 07786 200805. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.