The family of Renee Aitken, who disappeared aged five after she was snatched from her Far South Coast bed almost 30 years ago, has broken the silence of a decade.
Renee was taken from the family home in Narooma in February 1984 as her brother Brad, aged eight, slept in the same room. Now married, he said he had a five-year-old daughter he named Renee Joy Aitken in memory of his sister.
His mother, Morna, who married in 1990, is in frail health with a spinal condition. She moved from Narooma, where there is a plaque on the headland in memory of Renee, back to Melbourne.
''There has been so much pain and suffering. It's eaten me away. I am just a broken shell now. I can't do my grieving because she is nowhere,'' she told Fairfax Media.
Morna visited the memorial two years ago.
''Driving into the town, I get so anxious. [In my mind] I see Renee playing down the beach and I think to myself 'Where are you? Come home to mummy','' she said.
In 2003, detectives subpoenaed Brian James Fitzpatrick, known as ''Spider'', previously jailed for indecent assault, to appear before Renee Aitken's inquest but he died in a car crash weeks before the hearing.
Police said it was suicide but his partner denied he was suicidal.
NSW detectives said they would interview a former cellmate of the killer of nine-year-old Bondi schoolgirl Samantha Knight, after claims he repeatedly drew pictures of a girl he named ''Renee''.
The new information is from the former cellmate, who now lives in the Netherlands. He played chess with Michael Guider, who was convicted of killing Samantha Knight, who disappeared in 1986, two years after Renee vanished. Guider has never revealed what he did with Knight's body.
Known as ''Witness O'' the cellmate, who cannot be named, gave evidence that helped convict Guider, who is eligible for parole in June after serving a a 16-year sentence.
Before Christmas, ''Witness O'' saw a Fairfax article that showed a picture of Renee Aitken, which he says was similar to the ones that Guider drew.
Brad Aitken, who lives in Melbourne, said he was trying not to have a view on Guider. ''I finally fulfilled my promise to my sister to name my first daughter after her [Renee] and even going through that was a really tough time for me,'' he said.
Mr Aitken said his daughter had just started school and was getting on a with a normal life and his sister's story ''comes back to haunt me again and again and again''.
''I was talking to mum last night and she said: 'Is this ever going to end?' It is never going to go away because there is no way of it being resolved short of someone saying 'I did it, there's the body'.
''It will never be resolved.
''Of the two best suspects, one's dead and I don't think the other one's going to put his hand up for it.''
Asked how he had got through the past three decades, he said ''barely''.
''The pain that I have suffered during those last 30 years, most people would not be able to cope with.''
Mr Aitken said his memory of his sister's disappearance was ''extremely vivid''.
''It was about 3am. I was cold, I was in shortie pyjamas and the blankets had been pulled neatly down to my knees, like they had been folded back by, we assume, the person who took Renee.
''I am taller than Renee, so by the time the blanket has got down to my knee, I am assuming they have realised: 'That child's too big, that's not Renee' because they would have been doing it in almost darkness.
''I walked across the room in complete darkness, got to Renee's bed, put my hand on the bed, couldn't feel her … The bed never seemed to end then all of a sudden I hit the wall. I turned the bathroom light on and came back into our room, looked at her bed and there was nothing there. She wasn't there. And then I looked over at my bed. She wasn't anywhere in the room.''
He searched the house, including the fridge, and saw that the back door was wide open. He then ran to his mother and her partner's room to wake them.
Denise Hofman, co-author of Forever Nine, about the disappearance of Samantha Knight, knew Guider and says she always questioned whether he could have been involved in Renee's disappearance.
Morna said that when she was sleeping it was the only time she didn't think of Renee. She said the police had been fantastic over the years.
''If anybody knows anything, if they can just jolt their memory back, anything, even if they don't think it's much,'' she said.
''I need to have an end to this before I die.''