For more than 25 years, Lori Brien has been waiting for a knock on her front door.
Ms Brien’s younger sister, Nicole Reid, disappeared from the Epping Hotel on February 22, 1992, about 1.15am.
She has never been found and Ms Brien is certain her sister was murdered. She longs for the day police find her sister’s body.
Ms Reid was 20 years old when she disappeared and had been staying with a friend in Epping. Ms Brien said her sister was at the hotel with friends on the night she went missing.
Police searched the local area, extending as far as Kinglake, while a boot found in a laneway in Northcote was believed to belong to Ms Reid.
An inquest into Ms Reid’s disappearance was held in 1995, with the coroner determining it was likely she had met with foul play.
But there was not enough evidence to deliver a finding on whether a specific person was responsible for her death.
Ms Brien described the past 26 years as “heartbreaking”.
She had moved to Queensland shortly before Ms Reid disappeared and only discovered she was missing after spending three days trying to contact her.
“It’s very hard for me,” Ms Brien said. “Every anniversary is hard. Nicole’s birthday is December 16 and then the anniversary is in February. Every year I’m hoping someone comes forward. I’ve been waiting for the police to knock on my door.”
Ms Brien said she desperately hoped someone would come forward with new information.
“Somebody knows something,” she said. “Her body is still out there … it would be great to put her to rest.”
Police spokeswoman Natalie Webster said the investigation into Ms Reid, who also went by the name Nicole Elms, remained with the Missing Person Squad.
“We understand how difficult these cases are for families – to not know why this has happened or whether you will ever know the final resting place of a loved one,” she said.
“There will be people who have information about Nicole’s disappearance and we encourage those people to come forward and tell police what they know.
“People who may not have felt they were in a position to share information for many years may now be able to do so. Sometimes the smallest piece of seemingly useless information may be the piece of the jigsaw that we need to solve that particular puzzle.”
Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au