But speaking for the first time today, 21 years after her sibling’s body was found in the Rochdale Canal a mile from her Hebden Bridge home, Juliet Rimer has told of the ‘void’ the death has left in her family.
Police are appealing for information over the murder of 13-year-old Lindsay Jo Rimer, who disappeared on November 7 1994, and say they have been working with a forensic provider in Canada in a bid to identify her killer.
More than two decades have passed since the disappearance, 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”.
In the latest effort to bring in vital information about the death of Miss Rimer, her younger sister, Juliet, has spoken about the impact of growing up without her.
She said: “There will always be a void. I have no memories of her of my own, everything is from photographs, stories and the media. It is heartbreaking to watch your family, break down every year, knowing there is nothing you can do, but be there for them.
“When I turned 13, it was like everyone closed ranks around me, in an effort to protect me from the world, as if the same thing might happen.
“A piece of everyone’s soul is missing and I often wonder how our lives would have been, if we were not a ‘broken’ family. The advice Lindsay would have given me, the fights we might have had, and the things we may have shared.
“Not knowing what happened is the worst part, you walk down the street and wonder, ‘Was it them? Do you know something?’ Getting the answers wouldn’t change the hurt but it would help bring closure to us all.”
Today marks 21 years since Lindsay Jo Rimer’s murdered body was finally located, in the Rochdale Canal, bringing to an end a massive five month search for her.
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, who is leading the investigation, said: “We did a massive round of publicity on the 20th anniversary of Lindsay’s body being found last year and that helped generate some important leads that we are following up.
“We have been working with a forensic provider in Canada who has generated some new forensic leads which we hope may lead to the identification of Lindsay’s killer.
“Over two decades have passed since Lindsay went missing and despite the passage of time publicity like this really does help. When we appealed on the 20th anniversary of Lindsay’s disappearance we found someone who was on the CCTV clip we released of Lindsay buying the cornflakes who we previously hadn’t managed to speak to.
“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 short clip of Juliet’s interview will be moved by what she has to say. It is clear that growing up in a family that has suffered such a traumatic event, that the pain and anguish still runs deep.
“Nothing will ever completely erase the memory, or restore normality, but bringing Lindsay’s killer to justice will at least bring some closure and answers to her family.”
Miss Rimer’s mother Geri also spoke about how the ordeal affected Juliet while she was growing up, describing her pain when “hearing us tell stories of her”.
She said: “She also witnessed the distress. She couldn’t understand why mummy and daddy were crying all the time. Why her sister was crying and brother was crying.
“It’s really hard to explain to a toddler what’s happened.”
But she said Juliet – only a baby when Lindsay disappeared – has been a huge support to the family after they lost their daughter. “I’m very proud of her,” she said.
Anyone with information should call detectives directly on 01924 334604 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.