30 years on: The son of Ann Heron appeals for information on the murder of his mother

"Someone out there must know who did this to my mum and, more importantly, why.”

Thirty years ago, Friday 3 August 1990 began as a normal day for Ann Heron. The mother-of-three had spent the morning shopping in Darlington with a friend, before returning home to Aeolian House to sunbathe in her garden for the afternoon. Around 6pm that evening, the 44-year-old’s body was discovered in her living room lying in a pool of blood. 

Despite an extensive police investigation, which spanned a number of years and has been subject to a significant review, her killer has never been found.

Ann and her son Michael, who passed away in 2011 Credit: Family photo

Three decades on, her son Ralph Cockburn, has issued a heartfelt appeal to find his mother’s killer and give her family closure.

It comes as Durham Constabulary confirm they have been using advances in forensic technology to review material from the scene.

Ralph Cockburn is desperate to find out what happened to his mother, 30 years on Credit: Family photo

Ann has five grandchildren, three of whom she never got the chance to meet, and four great-grandchildren that she has also never met. Her family say the saddest part is that she never got the chance to see them grow up.

Ann Heron cuddling her two grandsons Credit: Family photo

Detective Inspector Andy Reynolds, from Durham Constabulary’s Major Crime Team, said: “The force carried out a major investigation into the murder of Ann Heron and the inquiry has already been the subject of significant review. While the person responsible remains unknown the case will never be closed.

We are actively pursuing forensic enquiries using advances in technology in the hope of identifying evidence to prove who is responsible. If somebody is reading this and knows who killed Ann Heron, then please do the right thing and come forward. Her family deserve closure and she deserves justice.”

The husband of Ann Heron told ITV Tyne Tees he hopes a private detective can help him trace her killer. 85-year-old Peter Heron was arrested in 2005, but the charges against him were dropped due to lack of evidence. He's seeking an arrest and conviction to clear his name.

Anyone with information should call Durham Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.