Northumbria Police respond to report claiming they have abandoned investigation into death of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan
Northumbria Police have stressed that the investigation into the death of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan remains ongoing after a report claimed it was no longer active.
Seven-year-old Nikki vanished while walking the short distance home from her grandparents’ to her own flat in West Garth in October 1992.This is a timeline of the events which have unfolded since the seven-year vanished near her home in Wear Gareth, in the city's East End, in October 1992.
Her body was discovered the next day in the basement of the then-derelict Quayside Exchange in High Street East. She had been stabbed 37 times.
Her killer remains at large. A murder case against neighbour George Heron fell apart in court in November and serial killer Steven Grieveson was quizzed over Nikki’s murder in 2014 but no further action was taken.
A new team was set up to investigate Nikki’s death in April 2017, and on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, announced they had recovering new DNA from an unknown male.
Northumbria Police arrested a man in connection with the inquiry into Nikki’s death in April 2018 in the Teesside area.
A national newspaper has today, Tuesday, January 11, quoted Nikki’s mum Sharon Henderson as saying police have told her the case is no longer active.
Ms Henderson is reported as saying she was contacted by Northumbria Police in relation to an appearance by the former boss of the investigation squad on national TV.
Lisa Theaker remained in charge of the case even after moving from Northumbria police to the Cleveland Force.
She has now signed on to appear on a celebrity version of the Channel 4 show Hunted.
Today’s newspaper report quotes Ms Henderson as saying that Northumbria Police contacted her to break the news about Ms Theaker’s appearance – then revealed that they were no longer actively pursuing the investigation.
But a Northumbria Police spokesperson today insisted the search for Nikki’s killer was still active: "An investigation is ongoing into the tragic death of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan in 1992,” he said.
"A man remains under investigation in connection with our enquiries.
"The case has now been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service."