A MURDER victim killed in 1997 would have been 19 yesterday.
Joe McCafferty was only seven when flames swept through the Huddersfield house where he was staying.
His family have never given up hope for justice even though a massive police inquiry never led to anyone being charged in connection with the arson attack at Marsh in the early hours of the morning.
Joe’s mum, Tracey, said: “Joe would have been 19 yesterday and we have never given up hope that whoever killed him will be brought to justice.
“That’s all we want after all these years. We have to live with Joe’s death every day of our lives and it’s hard to think that whoever did this has never been caught and had to face the consequences of what they did.”
The family feel sure someone knows who is responsible; it’s never too late for that person to come forward.
Joe died after an arsonist set fire to the terraced house on Haywood Avenue where he was staying with his aunt on May 3, 1997, just two days after Labour swept to victory in the General Election.
Joe and his brother, Nicky, now 20, were staying with Tracey’s sister, Debra. Tracey was visiting her mother in Norfolk and was due back later that day.
Also in the house were Debra’s daughter, Chantelle – who was 12 – and Chantelle’s step-sister, Shereen.
Chantelle, now 23, was the first to be woken by the sound of the blaze at about 5am.
She roused Debra and Shereen and all three escaped through an upstairs window as the flames roared through the house.
Nicky suffered serious burns to his body and arms in the inferno, but Joe had died from his injuries by the time he arrived at the nearby Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Debra suffered cuts to her wrist when she smashed a window to get the children out. She was also burned on her back.
Chantelle suffered burns to her back and foot along with cuts while Shereen, now 23, was cut as she escaped through the smashed window.
The flames and smoke were so intense it was impossible to reach Joe or Nicky and they were brought out by firefighters.
The family could not face returning to live at the house and moved elsewhere.
The murderer poured fuel through the letterbox and set it alight. A petrol container was found at the scene.
The main clue to the killer was the burned remains of the green plastic Unipart container used for motor oil which was found outside the house.
It was dark green, used for 20/50 motor oil and was last made in 1994, three years before the attack.
Most were sold at Esso filling stations.
Police revealed last year that someone contacted a radio station in 2006 and what they said leads officers to believe that that person could provide them with a breakthrough.
Det Supt Andy Brennan, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, is overseeing the case.
He said: “More than 10 years on since the death officers are continuing to work on the investigation as murder cases are never closed.
“That night a little boy of seven lost his life and we still believe that someone local holds the key to this case. I would like to hear from anyone who may have information, no matter how small.”
Contact Huddersfield CID on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.