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Wednesday, August 19, 1998 Published at 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK


Father seeks news of girl missing for 20 years

Genette Tate's father would like this man to confess to her murder

BBC Crime Correspondent Stephen Cape reports
The father of a girl who went missing 20 years hopes the man he believes may have murdered her will confess.

Thirteen-year-old Genette Tate was delivering newspapers near her home in the village of Aylesbeare when she vanished.

[ image: Police interviewed 3,000 witnesses]
Police interviewed 3,000 witnesses
Her blue bicycle and papers were found abandoned in a lane a few minutes after she had been talking with friends.

The wheel of the bike was still spinning.

Since then, there has been much speculation about what happened.

Many believe she was killed and buried.

Police have spoken twice to convicted child killer Robert Black about the case. He has categorically denied abducting her - and claims he is innocent of the three murders for which he has been convicted.

Genette's father says he wants to give Black a fresh chance to get any matters off his conscience.

[ image: John Tate:
John Tate: "A chance for the murderer to say he's sorry"
"You can't continue - regardless of whether you are in prison or not - with all of this in your mind and in your heart," he said.

"He did at one time say he would like to talk to parents and to say he was sorry for what he had done. I'd like to give him that opportunity."

He says he would like to distance himself from the village where she disappeared and may stop returning there annually.

The Devon and Cornwall police have made a renewed call for information about the case - the longest-running missing persons case in Britain.

"We are today no nearer to finding out exactly what happened to poor Genette," said Detective Constable Phil Diss.

"People's memories do fade and things become distorted but we are still looking."

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