20 years on, police hunt for killer of Hebden Bridge schoolgirl is renewed

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IT was a murder of a schoolgirl which left a Yorkshire market town in shock and has since baffled detectives for two decades.

The body of Hebden Bridge 13-year-old Lindsay Jo Rimer was found in the Rochdale Canal on April 12, 1995, five months after she was reported missing, but the person responsible has never been brought to justice.

Det Superintendent Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire Police

Det Superintendent Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire Police

Now, 20 years on from her disappearance, West Yorkshire detectives are to return to the spots where Lindsay was last seen alive in hope that local residents may help them solve the case.

Over the course of tomorrow, the 20th anniversary of her going missing, officers will carry out house-to-house inquiries in the town as well as releasing a video appeal and reconstruction of the last known movements of the Calder High School pupil.

And in a first for the region’s largest force, police will issue regular updates about the appeal and the reconstruction on Twitter as part of a ‘tweeconstruction’ from 11am tomorrow.

Lindsay was last seen just after 10.22pm at the Spa shop on Crown Street in Hebden Bridge, where she was buying cornflakes for the next day. Her body was found a short distance away in the canal, weighed down by a 20lb rock and showing signs of strangulation.

Police have launched a new appeal on the 20th anniversary of the murder of Lindsay Rimer

Police have launched a new appeal on the 20th anniversary of the murder of Lindsay Rimer

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire Police, senior investigating officer in the case, said he was keeping an “open mind” about who was responsible.

But he said that given the time of the disappearance and the short distance to where the body was found, there was a good chance Lindsay knew her killer.

He told The Yorkshire Post: “This is someone who has local knowledge of the area, to be able to take someone in a public place, it does need some co-operation.”

In the years since the discovery of Lindsay’s body, the police have taken hundreds of witness statements and spoken to thousands of people during their investigation, though no-one has ever been charged with the murder.

Her mother Geri, who still lives locally, puts up posters appealing for information every year and has told how the murder still affects her family.

Mr Atkinson said: “It lives with them every single day, there is not a day goes by without them thinking of their daughter and that over 20 years they have missed out on seeing her growing up.

“It is that feeling that, because Hebden Bridge is such a tight-knit community, perhaps the killer of their daughter is within their midst and that person is still out there, having not been brought to justice and not able to pay for their crime. That is hard to bear.”

He added: “Lindsay was a young girl with her whole life ahead of her and no-one knows what she could have become – her killer or killers took that away from her.

“Over the years loyalties change. You may have had suspicions about a friend or a loved one back in 1994 but never came forward out of a misguided sense of loyalty. I am appealing directly to you to come forward. The information may seem trivial to you but could be the final piece in the jigsaw needed to catch a killer.”

On November 7 Lindsay Jo Rimer left her home on Cambridge Street, Hebden Bridge, to go to the shops.

She paused briefly at the Trades Club on Holme Street, police say, where she met her mother before buying the cornflakes.

CCTV from the shop on Crown Street shows her buying the cornflakes at 10.22pm. It is not known what happened to her then.

“All we know is that Lindsay’s body was found five months later on Wednesday April 12, 1995, with the ultimate indignity to her and to her family of her body being left to rot in a watery grave,” added Simon Atkinson.

“Someone prepared to do this doesn’t deserve any protection.”

Anyone with information should call 01924 334604, text 07786 200805, or call charity Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.