The baby sister of murdered Hebden Bridge teenager Lindsay Jo Rimer has broken her silence about the ordeal 21 years after the schoolgirl’s body was found.
The 13-year-old vanished on November 7, 1994, after going to the Spar shop in Crown Street to buy cornflakes.
Five months later her body was found concealed in the Rochdale canal, ending a massive police search.
Now Lindsay’s family have again made an emotional appeal for anybody with information about what may have happened to come forward – and believe the answers can be found within the Hebden Bridge community.
Speaking to the media for the first time about her loss, Linday’s sister Juliet Rimer 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, 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.”
Lindsay’s mum 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 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 Geri said Juliet – only a baby when the disappearance took place – has been a huge support to the family after they lost Lyndsay. “I’m very proud of her,” she said.
Detectives hunting the killer or killers are now following up new leads after working with forensic specialists in Canada.
Geri is hopeful about the these developments and other leads, which came about after publicity surrounding the 20th anniversary of Lindsay’s body being found.
“It’s a breakthrough, and fingers crossed. I have every faith in what the police are doing. This might be the breakthrough we’ve been looking for.”
She wants people with any information at all to speak up.
“Somebody out there knows. No matter how simple the information, they should come forward so we can give justice to Lindsay. She deserves it after 21 years.”
The people of Hebden Bridge are key to tracing the culprit, Geri believes.
“We need the help of the community. And the answer is in the community,” she said.
“It’s a living nightmare constantly. It doesn’t end. It doesn’t go away. You might appear normal to people but you’re not. You’ve got this hole that never heals up.
“She was very happy, very bubbly. Well-liked by teachers and other pupils. A very, very easy child to be around. It’s very unfair that her life was cut so short.”