Geri won’t give up in long wait for justice for Lindsay

Geri Rimer with a photograph of her daughter Lindsay, who was murdered 19 years ago
Geri Rimer with a photograph of her daughter Lindsay, who was murdered 19 years ago

Nearly 20 years after the murder of her daughter, Hebden Bridge mum-of-four Geri Rimer is calling on the killer to give her family the closure it desperately needs.

The body of Calder High School student Lindsay Rimer was found in the Rochdale Canal on April 12, 1995, but the person responsible has never been brought to justice.

Lindsay had gone missing five months earlier on November 7, 1994, after a trip to a local convenience store to buy some cornflakes.

And speaking on the 19th

anniversary of that day, Geri has reiterated her unrelenting desire to get the justice that her daughter - who was just 13 at the time of her disappearance - deserves.

“If there’s anybody with any information - however minor they think it might be - I’d urge them just to come forward. You never know, something you think is insignificant could be really important.”

This week Geri has done the same thing she has done for the last 19 years at this time of year - put up posters appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

She is convinced that somebody knows something that happened on that fateful day in 1994 and pleaded with them to get in contact with the police.

Geri said: “I just can’t believe it’s 19 years. In some ways it feels like it happened yesterday. It’s a bit mind blowing. She was 13. She’d be a woman now, perhaps married with children.

“I just find it so hard. I won’t forget her. I just want some closure on it. After all these years I am sure there’s somebody out there who knows something that could come forward. I still believe that it’s somebody who is fairly local.

“The whole family has had to live with this for 19 years. It’s greatly affected us all in our everyday lives. You’re always aware that there’s a part of your family missing.

“I find it really hard to think you could just disappear off the streets the way she did and nobody saw or heard anything. Even on a Monday night in Hebden Bridge there’s always a lot of people around.

“Twenty years is quite a momentous anniversary. One that I never thought we’d come to. All the publicity is for Lindsay because she deserves some justice. The fact that there’s someone walking around free is not fair.”

Geri said that Lindsay’s murder still affects her family - ex-husband Gordon, and children Kate, 39, Daniel, 36 and Juliet, 20 - every day and wondered if the killer feels any remorse for what they did.

“A big part of me disappeared when Lindsay was killed. For the first months I was comatose,” she said. “I was shocked. I didn’t think it could happen to me, especially in a place like Hebden Bridge. Straight away I wanted to get out there and fight for justice for Lindsay and that really helped me.

“I think it affected the children as much as it affected me and Gordon. When things like this happen people just think it affects the mum and dad, but it affects the siblings just as badly. They still suffer from it, just as I do.

“I really hope that when these anniversaries come along he feels what we feel. I do wonder if he feels any remorse. Has it affected his life the way it’s affected ours?

“I do wonder how somebody could do something like that and nobody notices a change in routine or behaviour.”

Geri, who still lives in Hebden Bridge, said the support her family received - and still continue to receive - was incredible and thanked people for their kind words and actions.

“I have stayed in Hebden Bridge because I feel the answer is here and I think to leave Hebden Bridge would be the wrong thing to do,” she said.

“I’d like to think that the person still lives in Hebden Bridge and sees I’m not going anywhere. I do feel tied to this place. It’s a wonderful community and a great place to live. As a community, the support that the family has been shown has been absolutely incredible - when it first happened and even to this day. It’s very warming to me that people still remember - without me putting posters up or saying anything to the press.

“I’m still in contact with some of Lindsay’s friends. They have found me on Facebook - even friends from Buxton where we lived in the 1980s. They also remember the anniversary of Lindsay’s death.

“It’s weird seeing all those people who were young at the time. They all have great jobs and their own families, and that’s what Lindsay should have had.”

Geri said she had 100 per cent confidence in the police and was confident they have and will continue to do everything they can to catch Lindsay’s killer.

- Geri said that the whole family were hurt and appalled by recent reports in the national press linking Lindsay’s murder to Jimmy Savile.

- When the 13-year-old Hebden Bridge schoolgirl was reported missing on November 8, 1994, alarm bells rang straight away.

Police discreetly began a murder inquiry alongside what was then a missing person inquiry.

The whole Calder Valley community was united in praying for a successful outcome and Lindsay’s parents Gordon and Geri Rimer regularly gave press interviews as the story ran and ran.

But hope turned to horror when Lindsay’s body was found by workmen in the Rochdale Canal within walking distance of her home at Cambridge Street on April 12, 1995.

The story was again topping the headlines and the public’s sympathy for the family they had come to know via their television screens was widespread.

But, despite huge publicity and a talented team of detectives heading up the inquiry, her killer has never been caught.

Every November for several years police re-appealed for information, but their inquries continued to draw a blank.

Lindsay was last seen alive on November 7, 1994.

At about 10pm she left her home at Cambridge Street to buy a packet of cornflakes from the Spar Supermarket, Crown Street, in Hebden Bridge town centre.

On the way she briefly stopped at the Trades Club, Holme Street, where her mother was out having a drink.

CCTV footage from the shop showed her paying for the cornflakes at 10.22 pm and that is the last known sighting of Lindsay alive.

She failed to return home and when she did not turn up for her paper round the next morning the alarm was raised.

Hundreds of local people helped in the search for Lindsay and detectives collected hundreds of statements and spoke to thousands of people.

The Rimer family had moved into Calderdale from Rotherham and Lindsay attended Calder High School, Mytholmroyd.

- Lindsay’s body was found in the Rochdale Canal in April 1995.

Detective Chief Insp Paul Fountain, of the West Yorkshire Police’s major investigation review team, is hopeful someone will come forward with vital information.

“Over time, allegiances change and we would encourage anyone who has information that can assist us in bringing those responsible for the murder of Lindsay to get in touch,” he said.

Officers say despite the passing of time they are committed to finding the killer and someone has the vital information that could bring the killer to justice.

Anyone with any information which could help the enquiry should contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.