Almost 24 years after 7-year-old Nikki Allan of Ryhope, Sunderland, was found stabbed to death, her murder is still a cold case. According to the Mirror, Allan was reported missing on October 7, 1992, after leaving her grandparents’ home at Wear Garth, East End. The following day her body was discovered lying in a pool of blood in a derelict building, just a few yards from where her shoes were found by a neighbor, who was helping police officials search for the missing child.
Sources say her body was later transported to a local medical examiner’s office where it was determined that she suffered 37 stab wounds to her chest and had been beaten with a brick. A year after the child was found stabbed to death, a 24-year-old man named George Heron was charged with her murder, but was later acquitted by a “jury at Leeds Crown Court.”
A judge determined that the evidence presented, which were tape recordings of “Northumbria Police interviews with Heron’s,” was inadmissible in court. The judge criticized police, stating that they engaged in “oppressive questioning” and that they misrepresented evidence. These allegations were denied by the police force.
— Remember Nikki Allan (@Tweeting4Nikki) August 29, 2015
In 2014, another man, Steven Grieveson, 47, of Sunderland was arrested on suspicion of Allan’s brutal murder, which brought joy to Allan’s mother Sharon Henderson, 48, according to Sunderland Echo. She was so overwhelmed that she collapsed and “suffered a mild stroke due to a blood clot on the brain after her tiring battle.”
“I have fought for justice for Nikki for so long that I think my body has had enough. I have fought and fought for so long now. I just collapsed at home. I managed to get outside and a neighbor called for an ambulance.”
“They must have new evidence,” Henderson thought. “They haven’t told me who it is they have arrested as yet, but I feel as though it might be coming to an end. I might get justice soon for Nikki.” However, the excitement was short-lived when he bailed out of jail after a police interrogation. A detective later stated that the “bail had been cancelled and he faced no further current action.”
Investigators were back to where they started until a woman — whose name is being withheld — contacted Allan’s mother earlier this week with new information in the cold case. She stated that after watching an episode on the television program called Crimewatch of the child’s death anniversary, where “unseen video footage and a sketch of a man they were trying to trace” were also shown, the woman said she “could not stop thinking about how she might hold information.”
Henderson advised the woman to contact police officials immediately with any information that she may have. She went on to say that “I have always said that any small nugget of information could make the world of difference to this case.”
Man arrested over the unsolved murder of little Nikki Allen in Sunderland in 1992http://t.co/WWnwpHkhhR
— Total Crime (@totalcrime) February 20, 2014
However, this isn’t the first time Henderson has received a call from someone about new information on the murder of her 7-year-old daughter. In July 2014, it was reported that she received a call from a man with a British accent, who claim to have been a part of the television show Crimewatch, but it was a hoax.
She said she had “been waiting all these years for new information and so I was really hopeful about hearing the news. I thought I was finally getting some new information. They then told me that they would like to meet me but then I realized that if there was new information the police would have contacted me.”
“It seemed to me the caller was trying too hard with the accent and something didn’t sit right. I was absolutely devastated when I realized it was a hoax call – my anxiety just went through the roof. It is a cruel thing that they have done.”
Henderson is hoping that the information the woman, who claims to have been on the street where her daughter went missing 24 years ago, has will lead to a breakthrough in the cold case. She said, “I have my fingers crossed that this is it.”
Allan’s mother told reporters that she feels as though “There were people inside the old Exchange building that night who may, for one reason or another, not want to come forward. It might be they committed a crime and have now moved on with their lives or that they don’t feel comfortable about talking to the police.”
“I would appeal to them to get in touch and tell detectives what they know. They may well have families themselves now and are embarrassed about their past but if they have any information, please come forward.”
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