The murderer of Helen McCourt is set to be released from prison despite never revealing where he hid her body.
The Parole Board has confirmed it is to stick to its original decision to free Ian Simms, 63, after refusing a request by the justice secretary to keep him in jail.
Marie McCourt, Helen's mother, called on Robert Buckland to intervene after the board decided Simms had met the test for release more than three decades after the 22-year-old went missing in Merseyside in 1988.
Pub landlord Simms was convicted of her murder following overwhelming DNA evidence, but he has never admitted guilt or revealed where he left her body.
Miss McCourt was abducted and killed as she made her way home from her job as an insurance clerk.
Her mother Marie has campaigned to keep killers behind bars until they lead police to the victim's body, dubbed Helen's Law, which is now before parliament.
Simms was jailed in 1989 for the murder and has been serving his life sentence at HMP Garth in Leyland, Lancashire.
A Parole Board spokesman said: "The Parole Board has decided that the original decision to release Ian Simms should stand, after considering a reconsideration application from the secretary of state.
"Whilst the Parole Board has every sympathy with Helen McCourt's family, if the board is satisfied that imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public, they are legally obliged to direct release."
In a statement responding to the Parole Board decision, Mrs McCourt said: "I am very disappointed with the Parole Board's announcement and do not accept what they are saying - that Simms is safe to be released.
"I am consulting my legal team to discuss my next steps."
Mr Buckland said: "The reconsideration of this case by a Parole Board judge is a process independent from government but we are obviously disappointed with the outcome.
"I understand this will be extremely upsetting for the family of Helen McCourt and my heartfelt sympathies remain with them.
"Marie McCourt has told me and my predecessors repeatedly of the additional anguish experienced by her and others in similar situations.
"I hope Helen's Law, which is now before parliament, will serve as a lasting legacy to Helen and to the bravery of Marie and her family."
Simms' release is subject to a number of conditions which include residing at a designated address, having to wear a tagging device to monitor his whereabouts, observe a curfew and avoid any contact with the victim's family.