The mum of murdered Sunderland shcoolgirl Nikki Allan says she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received after a new arrest was made in the case.
Police confirmed on Friday that a man had been arrested on suspicion of killing the seven-year-old near her home in Hendon more than 25 years ago.
I have just been reading the comments on-line and the support is amazing. I am overwhelmed, I really am.Sharon Henderson
Nikki vanished while walking home to her flat in Wear Garth in October 1992. Her body was found next day in the derelict Quayside Exchange building, just yards away. She had been repeatedly stabbed.
Neighbour George Heron was charged with her murder but acquitted after a trial judge accused police of heavy-handed tactics and refused to allow the jury to hear a taped confession.
Northumbria Police set up a new team to investigate the killing in April last year.
Nikki’s mum Sharon Henderson said she had been taken aback by the backing she had received on-line: “I have just been reading the comments on-line and the support is amazing,” she said.
“I am overwhelmed, I really am.”
Sharon now lives in Ryhope and has also been touched by the response from neighbours in the village.
“Everybody here has been so supportive. It means a lot,” she said.
The Echo’s Facebook page was inundated with messages from readers sending their best wishes and hopes that the investigation into Nikki’s death might finally produce a result after breaking news of the new arrest.
Jean Shaw wrote: “Poor family have been through 25 years of hell. They need this over with so they can attempt to move on. My heart bleeds for them,” while Amanda Jobey said: “Hope Nikki and her family finally get the justice they deserve. That poor family are the only ones who have suffered. Time for them to get justice and let their daughter rest in peace once and for all. God bless you all x”
And Sharon Greenwood said: “Omg.. I hope you find the truth after all these long years of suffering ...” while Brian Fulcher-Blige wrote simply: “Let’s hope this can bring closure to this terrible event.”