The father of a university graduate murdered nearly 30 years ago has spoken of the devastating impact her death had upon their family.
Melanie Hall was last seen at Cadillacs nightclub in Bath in the early hours of June 9 1996 following a night out with friends.
The last sighting of the 25-year-old hospital clerical worker was inside the nightclub in Walcot Street at about 1.45am.
On October 5 2009, workmen found her remains next to the northbound slip road at junction 14 of the M5 motorway.
A new documentary is being broadcast on Thursday evening and features interviews with Miss Hall’s father Steve and sister Dominique, as well as police.
Mr Hall tells the programme: “When Melanie was murdered, it wasn’t just one person’s life that was taken, it changed and ruined many lives after.
“Mine, my wife’s, my daughter’s, my mother’s – there’s obviously someone out there, and probably some people out there, who know what happened to Melanie.
“If they felt they could come forward with information which led to us finding out what happened to Melanie, then at least we could feel that we’ve done all we can do for our child.
“We’re different people now. That night when she disappeared, we changed – we are not the people we were before.
“We carry a deep sorrow, a deep grief. We’ve lost something very beautiful and very precious to us that we can’t replace… it’s a family with a piece missing.”
Miss Hall’s sister Dominique added: “I would hope that somebody might think about my mum and dad, they are both nearly 80 now, that someone might find some little drop of compassion or empathy for my mum and dad… and think now would be the time to let them know and have the answers that they need.”
Detective Superintendent James Riccio, who is leading the investigation into Miss Hall’s murder, said he hoped the new documentary will trigger memories and prick consciences, encouraging those with information to contact the police.
“Just one small piece of information could solve this case and help us uncover the truth about what happened to Melanie that night,” he said.
“My team and I continue to be humbled by the courage, bravery and support that Melanie’s family have shown over the years and we desperately want to find answers for them.
“We will always be led by the evidence but based on the information we have amassed and meticulously reviewed, based on the 6,000-plus investigative actions, 2,000 statements, the accounts, the intelligence, the deposition location, I’m of the belief that Melanie did know her killer.
“An e-fit was released as part of a public appeal back in 1996 of a man seen inside Cadillacs nightclub with a woman matching Melanie’s description.
“This is still very much a focus of our appeal to the public today and we want to know who this man is.
“We’d also like information about an unconfirmed sighting of a woman, potentially matching Melanie’s description, who was engaged in an argument with a man in Old Orchard, around the corner from the nightclub entrance, between 1.45am and 2am.
“We don’t know whether this was Melanie, so if anyone has further details which could help on this aspect, please call us.
“I want members of the public to come forward if they recognise the individual in the e-fit.
“If you look at it and think ‘actually I know someone who was in Cadillacs that night’, or if you know someone who was watching the Euro 96 England vs Switzerland football game in Bath that evening, or if you think it’s someone who may have known Melanie, now is the time to get in touch.
“We suspect that whoever has done this has told someone, and allegiances alter over the decades.
“Someone knows who killed Melanie and someone knows how she ended up at the side of the M5 at junction 14, and these dark secrets need to be brought into the light.
“We have a number of enquiries we’re pursuing. It’s very much an active case, and there may be more related operational activity in the near future.”
Miss Hall’s clothing – a pale blue silk dress, black suede mule shoes, a cream single-breasted long-sleeved jacket and a black satchel-type handbag – have never been found.
Cosmetics and a Midland chequebook and bank card belonging to Miss Hall, as well as items of jewellery including a Next watch and silver drop earrings, have also not been located.
– The Body In The Bag: The Murder Of Melanie Hall is on Channel 5 on Thursday September 28 at 9pm.