"Since June 9, 1996, we have waited for news of our youngest daughter Melanie, who disappeared following an evening out in the city of Bath. During that time we have received unprecedented support from the people of Bath, and those living in the surrounding towns and villages.
"When Melanie was eventually found on the outskirts of Bristol in October this year we were inundated with messages of sympathy and goodwill. We have been truly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of love and affection shown by so many people to us and our family during this difficult time.
"On behalf of ourselves, our eldest daughter Dominique and our mother Dorothy we wish to extend out sincerest thanks to all those who have comforted us throughout the last 13 years and the difficult weeks following the discovery of Melanie.
"Our thanks go particularly to the officers and staff of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, who have worked tirelessly to find Melanie and are now using every resource available to them to find out what happened on that fateful night and to apprehend those who so cruelly took her young life.
"We would like to thank the media for their sensitive handling of events as they unfolded and their assistance in publicly seeking information to help the police investigation.
"Our thanks go also to the staff of the Royal United Hospital and all those connected with Bath City Football Club. Both organizations have provided a focus and a purpose for us to carry on and believe in the future. In addition, the many new friends that we have made through the world of painting have also offered great friendship and we thank them too.
"Finally, we would like to thank the people of Bath who have taken Melanie to their hearts and have always been there for us since that sad day in 1996."