It was a warm June evening in 1984 and Melanie Road wanted to let her hair down.
The happy, outgoing and sociable 17-year-old had been studying hard for her exams, and a night out with her boyfriend and friends was just what she needed to blow off some steam.
Melanie dressed in smart navy trousers and a black cardigan, before heading to a club to dance the night away.
Around 1.30am, Melanie left, telling a friend she didn’t want to get a taxi, preferring to walk the short distance home by herself.
But she never made it.
At 5.30am, a local milkman and his horrified 10-year-old son discovered her mutilated body behind some garages, metres away from her house.
Stabbed 26 times, Melanie was lying in a pool of blood.
Her attacker had stripped her, subjected her to a brutal sexual assault, then put her clothes back on.
With nothing to identify her besides a keyring with ‘Melanie’ on it, police officers walked up and down the streets, calling her name into a loud hailer.
Her parents – Jean and Anthony – who had woken up to find their daughter hadn’t spent the night in her bed – heard the cries and rushed outside to find out what was going on.
And that is how they learned the devastating news that their daughter had been brutally murdered.
Police launched an investigation, taking samples of semen and blood from the scene.
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