Family appeal on 20th anniversary of seven-year-old girl’s arson death
Thames Valley Police detectives hope the passage of time will have seen people’s allegiances change and help throw up fresh leads.
The family of a seven-year-old girl killed in an arson attack on their home have made a heartfelt public plea for help to catch her killer 20 years after her death.
Emily Salvini died as she slept after petrol was poured into the hallway and set alight around the time Labour swept to a landslide general election victory in 1997.
The telephone lines were cut before the fire took hold at the property in Caversham, Reading, to prevent emergency services being called on May 3.
Her mother Katie, then aged 30, and her brother Zach, then aged three, survived by climbing on to the roof of a bay window before being rescued, but they spent weeks receiving burns treatment in hospital.
Two decades on, Thames Valley Police detectives hope the passage of time will have seen people’s allegiances change and help throw up fresh leads.
Despite a number of arrests and public appeals, including on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme, no-one has been convicted of killing Emily and harming her family.
In a new appeal, Ms Salvini said: “It’s the panic when you allow yourself to think too deeply about Emily not being here, even now, 20 years on.
“It never gets any easier. Time hasn’t healed. It’s almost as if I stamp my feet as I want her back, I want her back, I want her back.”
Urging people with information to come forward, Zach, now 23, said: “I was only three at the time when someone set my home on fire. It is my earliest and saddest memory. The person who did this has yet to be found and any information you may know could be greatly beneficial to my family and me.”
Peter Beirne, head of Thames Valley Police’s major crime review team, said: “The person responsible will have had this horrific act on their conscience for two decades, and there has to be a possibility that they have confided in someone. Emily’s family need answers and need justice for Emily.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Thames Valley Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.