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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008, 17:50 GMT
Friends unveil Billie-Jo memorial
Billie-Jo Jenkins
The Billie-Jo Jenkins murder case remains unsolved
A permanent memorial to a teenager murdered in East Sussex almost 11 years ago has been unveiled.

Billie-Jo Jenkins was 13 when she was found battered to death with an iron tent peg on the patio of her home in Hastings on 15 February 1997.

Her foster father, Sion Jenkins, 49, of Lymington, Hampshire, was acquitted of her murder after a third trial in 2006.

Friends of Billie-Jo spent two years fundraising for the memorial which is part sculpture and part bench.

The memorial, carved from a single trunk of oak, is located under a willow tree in Alexandra Park, Hastings, close to where Billie-Jo lived.

It was unveiled in front of her friends and family, including her mother.

The memorial bench to Billie-Jo Jenkins
The bench commemorates the 10th anniversary of Billie-Jo's death

Laura Martin, one of Billie-Jo's school friends, recalled how they wanted a memorial that was "different and unique".

"Billie was unique. A really good friend, very funny. Always acting and singing, dancing," she said.

Joc Hare, who sculpted the memorial, said the idea was to "create a space for teens to hang out".

"A place to meditate, and to be playful at the same time," he said.

Billie-Jo's foster father was not invited to Saturday's event.



SEE ALSO
Billie-Jo killer hunt continues
15 Feb 07 |  England
Billie-Jo's death 'still hurts'
13 Feb 07 |  England
Billie-Jo's father 'to fight on'
17 Feb 06 |  England

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