Memorial Walk For Murdered Teen

Friends of a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death in Kent 20 years ago have vowed to get justice after both her parents died without seeing her killer caught.

Claire Tiltman was stabbed in an alleyway off the A226 London Road in Greenhithe on January 18 1993.

The Dartford Grammar School pupil was knifed more than 40 times in a frenzied attack as she took a short cut to visit a friend, four days after her 16th birthday.

Claire's mother, Lin, died aged 56 in 2008, and her father, Cliff, died last September, months after he pleaded from his nursing home bed for information following years of campaigning.

Despite both dying without seeing justice done for their daughter, friends of Claire - who was known as Tilt and would now be 36 - have vowed to keep the case in the public eye.

At Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons this week, David Cameron told MPs that the Government will do "everything it can'' to support the police and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Tonight, Claire's former schoolfriends have organised a memorial service and candlelit walk which will retrace her final steps.

Senior police chiefs have also renewed appeals for any information that may help finally close the case.

Claire's best friend, Lisa Gribbin, said: "We have a strong feeling that, with both Claire's parents now gone, there is a need to carry on the fight to find her killer and finally get some justice for our dear friend.

"My eldest daughter has just turned 16 and I look at her and realise just how young Tilt was and how much she had taken away from her and her family and also us as her friends.

"She had her whole life ahead of her. You can never get over or forget what happened. Your life is forever changed.''

Chief Superintendent Neil Jerome, who was a Pc on patrol when Claire was murdered, believes there must be someone out there who holds the key to solving the case.

He said: "It's sad that an entire family has been wiped out. Claire's parents have gone to their graves not knowing who killed their daughter. There must be witnesses who haven't come forward, who are getting older now.

"Do they want to go to their graves with that vital piece of information?''

A major murder inquiry was launched but no-one has ever been charged with Claire's killing. Kent Police said the case remains open and has been subject to a number of reviews by cold case detectives.

In 2010, Mr Tiltman had hoped for a breakthrough when a hand-written cardboard sign left among flowers above a plaque where Claire was stabbed claimed to name the killer.

The mysterious sign also claimed to name the type of car he drove and the company he worked for.

A man was traced by police and co-operated with officers but he was later ruled out of inquiries, dashing any hope of closure for Mr Tiltman.

Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "This isn't the end of our investigation.

"We have always maintained that someone has information about this murder and we will continue to investigate it.

"I hope that this event may prompt someone to finally come forward with the key piece of information that we need to identify Claire's killer and help us bring this case to a successful conclusion.''

Anyone with information about the case can contact the incident room on 01634 884010, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.