IT is five years since Sarah Melia was stabbed to death at her home — but the pain her family suffers is still just as raw.
Despite a lengthy police investigation, Ms Melia’s killer has never been brought to justice.
Her mother, Marion Kitchen, spoke to The Bolton News about the heartache the family still suffers on the anniversary of her death.
Monday, January 14, 2008, started out as a normal day.
Ms Melia, aged 34, went out to run some errands, visited a pharmacy and a convenience store and rang her mother.
But that afternoon, when her daughter, Meghan, then aged 15, returned home from school, she discovered her mother lying on the stairs covered in blood.
Her son Ethan was aged 10 at the time.
Ms Kitchen rushed to the house in Catherine Street West, Horwich, when she heard the news, to find it sealed off.
During the investigation which followed, Ms Kitchen was shown CCTV footage of a suspect and she instantly identified the man in the images as her son Mark.
He was later charged with the murder and went on trial accused of his sister’s murder.
But the case collapsed twice and Ms Kitchen had to go through the ordeal of giving evidence against him three times. They have not spoken since.
He was eventually found not guilty by the jury at his third trial — which means Sarah’s killer is still to be brought to justice. Ms Kitchen, aged 59, said: “It is five years since that horrible day.
“We wait for the phone call to say it is over and she can rest in peace.
“Until that day comes our journey to find justice for Sarah will never end.
“We miss her so much and live off our memories of happy times.
“She would be so proud of her two children getting on with their lives without their mum. They are a real credit to her.
“We still struggle with one question — why? Why did it happen, why was she killed?
“But there are no answers or reasons and we are in limbo.
“People say that time is a healer but we still have to carry on with life as normal as possible with this hanging over us.
“Although it is five years on it is still as raw as it was.”
The investigation has now been passed to the police’s cold case review unit.
Martin Bottomley, who heads up the unit, said: “Five years have passed since Sarah was brutally murdered and we remain determined to get justice for her and her family.
“As a force we constantly review unsolved murders and will always act on new information in our attempts to ensure justice is done and offenders brought before the courts, no matter how long it is since they committed their offence.
“No unsolved case is ever closed and the unit is always willing to investigate any new information relating to any undetected murder investigation.
“Tthere is no time limit on justice and we will always do what we can to bring justice for surviving family members."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 8565961, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.