Lorraine Freeman: Hopes for missing sister 'flattened so many times'

Lorraine Freeman Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Lorraine Freeman was 35 when she went missing in 1998

The sister of a woman missing for more than two decades has said she has been "flattened so many times" with hope the mystery could have been solved.

Lorraine Freeman was 35 when she went missing from Purfleet in Essex on 13 August 1998 and no body has been found.

Her sister, Toni Barker, believes she may have been murdered and said "maybe it's just easier for me to believe and try to convince myself of that".

Essex Police said it remained "dedicated in our search for Lorraine".

Ms Freeman was originally from Glasgow but moved to England, first to London and then to Purfleet where she worked as a housekeeper.

Det Supt Simon Anslow said after she went missing police carried out a "thorough investigation", including house-to-house inquiries, the search of a nearby lake and analysis of CCTV footage of her last known movements.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Police last reviewed Lorraine Freeman's case in June

But the reason behind her disappearance remains unknown, and police have treated her case as that of a non-suspicious missing person.

Her younger sister Ms Barker said she disagreed, and added: "For a lot of years I thought maybe she'd ran away, but I don't think she'd have stayed away this long."

She said she had just begun to visit her sister at the time of the disappearance and now felt like she had "missed out" on sharing life.

"As kids you're always bickering and then you grow up. We've lost all that," she said.

"It's constant - every day there's something that just reminds you or there's a news story.

"I think you get that flattened so many times, you think like 'oh, this time it's going to be her'. Hopefully one day we'll find out what's happened to her."

Det Supt Anslow said the most recent review of the case was in June and the force "continue to carry out intelligence checks in the hope that we will find a trace of her whereabouts".

"We remain dedicated in our search for Lorraine and hope that, one day, her family can get the answers they deserve," he said.

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