The family of a teenage girl who went missing from Camberwell 23 years ago hope a new appeal and £10,000 reward will finally give them answers.
Carmel Fenech, also known as Carmel Pendry, was last seen at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court on May 21, 1998, with an unidentified man.
The sixteen year old never returned home and was reported missing the following month. Police now believe she was murdered, but a body has never been found.
Carmel grew up in North Peckham Estate. At the time of her disappearance, her family had only recently moved out of the city. She still had many friends in the area, including in Brixton and Stockwell.
This Saturday, July 3, marks what would have been Carmel’s 40th birthday. Her mother, Deidre Fenech, said: “My family has been left in limbo for 23 years.
“Not knowing what has happened to my daughter Carmel has had a devastating effect on my physical and mental health.
“We continue to function because we are a very close family and continue to support each other.
“A huge part of my life is empty without my daughter Carmel.
“Please if anyone has any information concerning her whereabouts or any other information please let us know so we can finally get an answer. I thank you in advance for your help.”
Detective Inspector Chris Rambour from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team said that although no trace of her whereabouts has been found, Carmel’s disappearance had not been forgotten by the force.
“We particularly want to identify and speak to the man who Carmel was last seen with on May 21, 1998 as he may be able to provide information that will assist us with locating her.
“There is currently no description of him but he clearly knew her.
“Further lines of enquiry in London were identified by recent reviews and we have been working with the Metropolitan Police to examine these and pursue them where possible, although so far they have not led to any significant developments.
“We have also been keeping in touch with Carmel’s mother, Deidre, and have fully discussed the case with her. She will be kept informed of any developments.
“Together, we and Deidre hope that this renewed appeal, combined with the enquiries we are still carrying out, will jog memories and consciences in south London.
“The answer is out there and we really want to find out what has happened and help achieve justice and closure for her family, even after all these years.
“We will always examine and wherever possible follow up any other new information that may lead to new lines of enquiry.”
Glenys Balchin, Crimestoppers’ regional manager for Sussex, said: “No-one can ever imagine the pain and suffering a family must experience when losing a child like this. “Someone somewhere knows what happened to Carmel and we are appealing to them to do the right thing and to speak to our charity 100 per cent anonymously.
“Our charity is here to help and gives people the option of staying anonymous whilst doing the right thing.
“Every day, over a thousand people use our anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call our UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111.
“We’ve kept our promise of anonymity to everyone who has trusted us since we began over 32 years ago.
“We know that somebody has answers and while many years have passed, there is still time to put things right, to speak up 100 per cent anonymously and help Carmel’s family get the justice they so deserve.
“If you have information, please speak up – no matter how small you think that information may be, it could make all of the difference.
“With your help, Carmel’s family could finally have some of the answers they have been seeking for far too long.”