The heartbroken mum of a Manchester sex worker who was brutally murdered 15 years ago has welcomed the police’s fresh appeal to finally find her killer.
Julie Jones, 32, was found dead and wrapped in a carpet under bushes in the city centre on July 3 1998.
Wounds on the mother-of-two’s body suggested she had been brutally attacked and included severe crush injuries. Her flatmate had reported her missing several days earlier.
Her vicious killer has never been found despite police efforts and Julie’s mother Theresa Hulme, 72, has had to live with her daughter’s unsolved death for 15 years.
The former lollipop lady, who gave up her job shortly after the murder, has looked after Julie’s sons, Dale, 28, and Josh, 17, in Bury ever since.
Theresa fondly remembers her popular and outgoing daughter who excelled at school as always singing, happy and dancing around.
“It hasn’t got an easier, it is always something which never goes away,” Theresa said.
“Every day I still think about her.
“She had a happy life with everything going for her. It’s a shame to think that she was such a popular girl and her life was wasted apart from her two children which she had.”
Julie’s life spiralled out of control in her late 20s when her involvement with drugs led her down a path of prostitution to fund her habit.
“When I got told she was a sex worker I was shocked,” Julie admitted. “I never thought it would happen to one of my girls.
“She got in with the wrong crowd, with all people who were taking drugs. If I had have known I would have done everything to help her and got her help like any mother would.”
Theresa described the murder as being ‘swept under the carpet’ by police when investigations first began and feels that because of Julie’s status as a sex worker officers did not handle the case with much severity.
Yet she is thankful for the force’s continuing hard work and dedication to catching the culprit which has helped her deal with many years of sadness and frustration.
Martin Bottomley, head of investigative review at GMP’s Major and Cold Case Crime units, said: “In the 15 years that have passed, Julie’s mum has had to suffer what no parent should ever endure and sadly is still without the answers to the questions she has been asking herself every day for years – ‘who killed my daughter and why?’
“Julie’s two sons, who were very young when she was killed, have also had to grow up not knowing their mum and they too deserve to know the truth.
“Theresa never had the chance to say goodbye and all she has now is her memories, but both Theresa and Greater Manchester Police remain absolutely determined to finding Julie’s killer.”
With developments in forensic technology, police are able to revisit unsolved historic crimes to find new evidence which may lead to a conviction.
Mr Bottomley also wants the public to assist in tracking down the killer as any new piece of information could bring fresh leads to the case.
“We will never close this case until Julie’s killer is brought to justice,” he said.
“I would urge anyone who has information that could assist us in our inquiries, no matter how insignificant they think it might be, to come forward. Any new leads will be acted upon and that crucial bit of information could help us find whoever was responsible for this callous act.
“Take Julie’s lifestyle out of the equation – this is about a mum desperately seeking the truth about her daughter’s killing and living in hope her murderer will finally be brought to justice. So I would implore anyone who has information to come forward.”
Theresa said: “People will know who has done this to my daughter and it’s for them to have a conscience and get in touch with the police and let us put Julie to rest.
“I hope and I pray that they will come forward and give the police a ring and let us know.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.