NIKKI Allan’s mum has written a heartbreaking letter to the man arrested on suspicion of murdering her daughter more than 20 years ago.
In the letter, Sharon Henderson, 48, asks Steven Grieveson for help in ending one of Sunderland’s longest unsolved murder cases.
She states: “If you had anything to do with Nikki’s murder please come forward, and let us know if anyone else was involved. I just need Nikki to rest in peace.”
Police arrested Sunderland man Steven Grieveson, 43, last month on suspicion of eight-year-old Nikki’s murder.
He was later bailed pending further inquiries.
Ms Henderson, of Ryhope, today told the Echo: “I wanted to write the letter because I want to get answers, like any mother would.
“I have been fighting for these answers for almost 22 years now. The pain never goes away.”
Nikki vanished after leaving her grandparents’ flat in Wear Garth, East End, on October 7, 1992.
Her battered body was found the following day in a derelict building, lying in a pool of blood. She had been stabbed 37 times in the chest.
Despite repeated pleas for information, no one has ever been convicted of the crime.
Last month’s arrest follows a resurgence of activity in the case.
It was triggered by a television reconstruction documenting the last minutes of the eight-year-old’s life, filmed to mark the 21st anniversary of her death.
Following the screening of the BBC programme last year, Northumbria Police detectives revealed they were investigating a series of new leads.
Since then, Ms Henderson has been updated on the police investigation and was confident progress was being made.
The East End community where the family lived also rallied behind her, coming forward with their memories of the night.
A rally was held in the area just a few days after the programme, while a giant “Justice for Nikki Allan” sign was painted on the gable end of a building in High Street East.
Ms Henderson was informed of the arrest as she recovered in Sunderland Royal Hospital after suffering a suspected stroke last month.
Now she is hoping her letter will help provide her with more answers.
•Anyone who thinks they have information that could help detectives with inquiries is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191.