THE mother of a murdered teenager whose body was found in Denbighshire has thanked the people of the area for their part in the search for her body.
Lynnette Williams spoke about the killing of her 17-year-old daughter Georgia, who was found dead near the Nant-y-Garth pass, near Ruthin, last May – five days after she disappeared from her home.
Killer Jamie Reynolds, who was described as a violent sexual deviant, chillingly visited the cinema in Wrexham with the teenager’s body in his van, before dumping her in woodland.
Mrs Williams also praised North Wales Police – but criticised officers in the West Mercia force, who had cautioned Reynolds in 2008.
“We haven’t said this yet but we would like to thank everyone in the area for their help in trying to locate Georgia and piecing together what happened to her,” she said. “I would also like to thank North Wales Police for their involvement in the investigations.”
Mrs Williams claimed Georgia could still be alive if West Mercia Police had properly dealt with Reynolds back in 2008.
During the trial it was revealed Reynolds was cautioned but not charged by the force after trying to strangle another teenage girl in 2008.
Mrs Williams, has criticised an Independent Police Complaints Commission’s (IPCC) decision not to investigate earlier police contact with her daughter’s killer.
She said: “Georgia would still be alive and here with us now if this original incident had been dealt with properly.”
Reynolds invited Georgia for a photoshoot at the home he shared with his parents, where he trapped and killed the defenceless teenager, before posing her body – both partly clothed and naked – in different parts of the house, including on his parents’ bed.
He was handed a whole-life jail term. After reading a psychiatric report his sentencing judge called him a “potential serial killer”.
Mrs Williams, whose husband Steven is a detective serving with West Mercia Police, said officers should have realised Reynolds was dangerous after he attacked his first victim five years earlier.
Mrs Williams said: “In 2008, Reynolds mirrored an attack basically that he committed on Georgia in that, he lured a girl round on the pretext of helping him out with a project and then there was a violent attack where he attempted to strangle her.
“Thankfully, she managed to escape, but it has traumatised her and it has totally changed her life.”
West Mercia has said it has requested an investigation takes place with the IPCC in January, but has been instructed to carry out its own internally by the commission five years before Georgia’s death.
Both Georgia’s family and Reynolds’ earlier victim have lodged complaints with West Mercia Police over its handling of the incident, Mrs Williams said.
She added: “As parents, we feel had it been investigated properly, we wouldn’t be in this situation.
“I did get very angry with the police because I felt if they had dealt with it properly in 2008 everyone would have known about his past, they would have known what he was like with girls.
“Obviously, I wouldn't have let Georgia anywhere near him.”
As the first anniversary of Georgia’s murder approaches, Mrs Williams said it has been hard to carry on with everyday life.
He said: “It has been difficult to get on with things and we still get upset and think about Georgia every day. It has been really, really hard.”
A spokesman for West Mercia Police said: “We referred the police handling of previous incidents involving Jamie Reynolds to the IPCC with the strong recommendation that an investigation be carried out.
“On Friday, March 14 the IPCC informed us that their recommendation was that such an investigation should be managed locally by West Mercia Police. “
IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “If there are any findings of misconduct following their investigation, then one would expect suitable action to be taken.
Following a local investigation the complainants will, if dissatisfied with the investigation, have a right of appeal to the IPCC and if necessary the IPCC will be able to direct further investigation.”
See full story in the Free Press