THE family of murdered schoolgirl Jodi Jones are expected to leave sunflowers near the spot where she was found to mark the tenth anniversary of her death tomorrow.
Her mother, Judy Jones, and other relatives have left the flowers – which were Jodi’s favourites – at the same spot each year since she was killed.
Today, community leaders said that the horrific murder of the 14-year-old a decade ago remains a “tragedy we will never forget”.
Residents in Easthouses, where Jodi lived, are expected to mark the day in a low-key manner.
Instead, the sight of the sunflowers left at their usual spot are likely to be a quiet reminder of the loss of the teenager on June 30, 2003.
Her body was found on the wooded path known as Roan’s Dyke at about 10.30pm that night by boyfriend Luke Mitchell.
She had been taking a shortcut to Mitchell’s house when she was brutally attacked and mutilated in a killing which shocked the nation.
Mitchell, then aged 16, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum 20-year jail term.
Robert Hogg, a community councillor in Easthouses, said: “It’s a tragedy we will never forget. It was such a terrible thing to happen to a young girl.
“The family of Jodi Jones have been so dignified over the years despite the tragedy. She still has a number of family members in Easthouses. Every year they leave Jodi’s favourite flowers near the entrance to where she was found and other special places.
“People always see the flowers as they walk past and remember Jodi. They are a quiet family and I would expect them to do the same this year.
“Jodi had many friends who have grown up here and it makes you think about what she would be doing if she was still with us today.”
Mr Hogg said: “It’s also never really been allowed to go away because of Luke Mitchell’s appeals. Every few months it seems to come back up again.”
Mitchell’s case is being considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission after his past appeal bids failed.
A former CID detective said the Jodi Jones investigation remained one of the three biggest cases faced by police in the Lothians in the last 40 years.
He said: “There was a massive number of officers on the inquiry and it went on for more than a year. Unlike most murder cases which don’t get solved after six months, officers weren’t moved off the investigation. They were determined to make the arrest and the team worked around the clock.”