Family release photographs of Meredith Kercher


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The Independent Online

The family of Meredith Kercher have called on her killer to reveal what happened on the night of her death, as they release previously unpublished photographs of the murdered student.

The photographs, charting Meredith's development from a shy, pretty two-year-old to an attractive young woman, cast a new light on the life of the Leeds University student, who was found partially clothed with her throat slit in the bedroom of her flat in Perugia, Italy, in 2007.

Rudy Guede, a local drifter and drug dealer, is serving a 16-year sentence for killing and sexually assaulting Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old exchange student at the time of her death. In a separate trial, her former flatmate, American student Amanda Knox, and Ms Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty of her murder before their convictions were overturned last year.

Meredith's family, who believe Guede did not act alone, hope that releasing the photographs will help refocus public attention on the case, and raise the pressure on Guede to come clean about what happened.

The earliest photograph shows Meredith as a two-year-old, gazing shyly at the camera from beneath her fringe. Another, taken in the family's back garden, shows her as a six-year-old, dressed in her school uniform.

A picture taken when she was 15 shows Meredith with her arm around her father, John Kercher, while another, taken in her later years, captures her speaking to her smiling mother, Arline Kercher, on the latter's birthday.

The family's campaign for justice has included the release of a book about the case by Mr Kercher, a freelance journalist. Meredith: Our Daughter's Murder and the Heartbreaking Quest for the Truth was released last week, with Mr Kercher saying he hoped that the book would put the spotlight back on his daughter.

He said he felt media coverage of the case had focused heavily on Ms Knox, overshadowing the brutal crime against his daughter, and that in the four years between the murder and last year's acquittals, Ms Knox had acquired a semi-celebrity status.