Lydia Perkins’ family remembers their loved one 25 years later

LANCASTER, Ky. (LEX 18) – In October 1997, 25 years ago, then 14-year-old Lydia Perkins disappeared from the Lexington neighborhood. Lydia and her brother Justin Perkins spent the day with their grandmother. They came back earlier, to visit friends. That night, her brother was worried that she was not at home.

“Really from that point on, I don’t remember much. Like my mom said, I came home, and I was freaking out,” says Justin.

Justin was 12 years old when his sister didn’t come home. Considering the two years difference, the brothers and sisters were close – he says he misses that connection.

“My best friend. You’re always looking for someone to go to. You see people with siblings — that bond. Even on TV — and that’s something you always feel you’ve missed out on,” he says.

Sherry Thompson, Lydia’s mother, says when she woke up today she couldn’t believe how much time had passed. Every year around the holidays, he lights a candle in memory of Lidia.

“You know, I never thought 25 years would go by without my daughter. You know, I remember my brother would say, ‘She’ll be home by Thanksgiving. She’ll be home by Christmas.’ and that was 25 years ago,” says Thompson.

Thompson says it’s hard not knowing where her daughter is and what happened.

“Where is she? What happened to her? You know, I don’t believe she’s with us anymore, because I know my child – and it never ends,” she says.

Both mother and brother say that if they could send Lydia one message, it would be to tell her how much they love her. Thompson says, “I would tell her I love her, you know, and I miss her.”

Now, with four children of his own, Justin says he’s more protective. He wants his daughters to know how special their relationship is.

“I mean, I want my daughters to always be able to count on their sisters and be there for their sisters and have their sisters be their best friends,” he says.

This family says you can’t imagine the pain of losing a loved one like this until you experience it. Thompson says she hopes it’s something no other family has to endure.

“It was a nightmare that you actually live every day. You know, you want justice, you want to find out who did this to her, so you can protect other kids,” she says.

This family is not giving up hope of finding answers.

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