Fourteen year-old Caroline Glachan was found dead on the water’s edge of the River Leven near Bonhill on Sunday 25 August 1996.
Caroline Glachan’s mum Margaret McKeich, stepdad Allan McKeich and Joanne Menzies, Caroline’s best friend attended a press conference on Monday 22 August 2016 at Bonhill Community Centre, close to where she was last seen alive twenty years ago.
Detectives are certain that the answer to her murder lies in the local community and they hope that this fresh appeal, and the forensic opportunities now available, will help them trace whoever is responsible for her murder.
CCTV images of Caroline and her friend walking near local shops, and video footage of Caroline dancing were shown to the media at the press conference.
The CCTV footage showed Caroline and Joanne leaving a local block of flats at 23.45 hours. Caroline then left a group of friends at the shops around 00.15 hours.
Senior Investigating Officer, Superintendent Jim Kerr from Homicide Governance and Review said:
“Caroline’s murder remains an unsolved case but with the 20th anniversary now upon us, we are now re-appealing to anyone with information that will assist the ongoing investigation to do the right thing and come forward.
“We have maintained over 300 items that were collected at the time and with new forensic techniques now available, we hope that this, along with information witnesses can provide, will move this investigation forward.
“Caroline’s friend Joanne Menzies was one of the last people to see Caroline – who was wearing jeans and black sweatshirt.
"She said goodbye to Caroline who then walked across the park, over the Main Street and onto Dillichip Loan towards the tow path."
“I would appeal again for assistance in tracing a man wearing a dark green hooded top who was seen by a taxi driver walking near Caroline as she made her way along Dillichip loan around 0015 hours on Sunday 25 August 1996.
"The man has sharp features and may well be the last person to see Caroline alive, however despite previous appeals to identify him, he has never been traced. Witnesses have also spoken of hearing people arguing or shouting in that area a short time later.
“I know there has been a reluctance from people in the Bonhill and Renton areas to come forward with vital information on this murder. However what I would point out is that we investigating the murder of a 14-year-old girl.
"Friendships and loyalties change over the years so I would ask people to look to their conscience and do the right thing and contact police.
"There's a black cloud over Bonhill and Renton and we need to lift it."
Amanda Pirie, Lead Forensic Scientist, Major Crime at the Scottish Police Authority said,
"We have a dedicated cold case team with specialist, experienced scientists who will work alongside the Homicide Governance & Review team to do a full and comprehensive review of the cold case.
"We will review all the items still remaining in this case and use a range of new tools and tests that are available to us in forensic services.
"This includes a DNA profiling system that is more sensitive than the tests previously used and provides much more information from a sample than ever before. It can also be used to analyse items that have been in water for a period of time.
"It is designed in such a way that we're more likely to obtain a DNA profile from very small amounts of material than we did before.
"By using this new technology and if there is material still remaining on the items that has persisted over that period of time, then we'll be in a better place to attempt to take a DNA profile from it.
"That information may be of significance and may be able to provide a line of enquiry for the Homicide Governance & Review team."
Margaret McKeich, Caroline’s mum said:
“I’ve been here before and it is now 20 years down the line. What can I say that I haven’t said before? What can I do that I have not done before? I’m a bit more hopeful than I’ve been for a long time.
“The public have a part to play and I would urge anyone with information to come forward, to let Caroline rest in peace and give me closure. There are two questions I need answered – who and why?”
Joanne Menzies, Caroline’s best friend said:
“Caroline was only 14 when she was murdered. There’s people who know who done it, or who are shielding whoever done it and I would ask them to come forward.”
Anyone with information should contact the Operation Fairing Team through 101. Email officers through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively CRIMESTOPPERS can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.