A mum has spoken of her anger and frustration that the murderer who killed her son 21 years ago has not faced justice.
Tracey McCafferty today (Thursday) placed flowers at the scene of the arson attack which claimed her son Joe’s life in 1997.
She has watched her other children growing up and is angry that someone cut Joe’s life short.
Joe was seven when someone poured petrol through the letter box of his aunt’s home in Haywood Avenue, Marsh, at 5am on May 3, 1997.
He was staying in the house with his cousins while mum Tracey was working away and he died in hospital from his injuries.
Tracy, now 53, said Joe’s killing was one of too many unsolved ‘cold case’ murders in the Huddersfield area.
And she claimed some residents in the Haywood Avenue area were “ignorant” of what happened and seemed content to forget about it.
“Today is obviously an emotional day,” she said.
“Going back to the house brings back the memories. There’s a chance that people up there do know something - a very big chance.
“I find it disgusting that people can still be ignorant about what happened.
“If I lived on a street where a child died I would acknowledge it happened. It was horrific.”
After speaking to people on Haywood Avenue today she was left with the feeling that Joe had been forgotten.
“You wouldn’t think that a child had died there 21 years ago,” she said.
“I was talking with a neighbour who said it had been 21 years and said ‘you are not going to get anywhere’. That really does get me angry.
“As long as I am breathing I will carry on the fight for justice for Joe.”
Tracey, who still lives in Huddersfield, said she believes that the case will be reviewed later this year by West Yorkshire Police.
She remains “100% sure” that someone local was responsible for killing her son.
“It’s devastating,” she said. “I have seen my other son grow up and have three children. Joe didn’t get this chance and didn’t even get the chance to go to high school.
“It is raw because it will never go away until the person responsible has been charged.”
She has appealed to local people to contact police if they know anything.
“I would ask them to look at their own children and imagine waking up one morning and never seeing them again,” she said.
Tracey would not discuss possible motives for the attack but said there were many unanswered questions.
She added: “I feel like it has been a battle; 21 years banging my head on a brick wall trying to get answers that I feel I am never going to get.”
And she is fearful that Joe’s murder may never be solved.
“There are several cold cases in Huddersfield that are not solved yet. Huddersfield is a town, not a city. There shouldn’t be cold cases. Some are 30 years old which is disgusting.
“These cold cases are called historical cases which makes me angry. A child died 21 years ago and I’m still no further. I feel my head has been rattled about and taken off; it has been one hell of a journey for me.”
She praised family and friends for their “fantastic support” but said Joe’s dad had found his son’s death too painful to talk to her about.
“He’s never opened up about it with me,” she said. “We can’t talk about it. We both loved Joe dearly.”
People living in the Haywood Avenue told the Examiner that they shared the frustration felt by Joe’s family.
One dad-of-two said: “It surprises me it hasn’t been solved. I agree with Joe’s mother and, if it was my child, I would not be resting until it was solved. It is very sad that there is no closure for the mum.”
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “Everyone has opinions (about what happened) but nobody is saying anything.
“Probably there’s someone on the street who knows but they are not saying - everyone has thought this for many years.”
Edda Clancy, 79, who lives around the corner from Haywood Avenue, said: “I remember when they carried the little boy out of the house.
“I think the police have been trying hard but they can’t make anybody admit to doing it. People have not forgotten but a lot of new people have moved in.”
One neighbour, a woman in her late 60s, declined to comment, saying: “No, we’ve had enough of it round here.”
Detectives have made numerous appeals in the last two decades in their attempt to track down Joe’s killers.
In May 2015 a man aged 65 and a woman aged 60 were arrested but were later released without charge.
Anyone with information is urged to call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.