Gemma Dowler, the sister of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, has appeared on The One Show to speak out about the trauma her family experienced at the time of her sister’s abduction and the book that Gemma has written as a result.
In an emotional interview, Gemma opened up to presenters Alex Jones and Matt Baker about the ‘horrendous’ time that followed Milly’s abduction, rape and murder.
In a heartbreaking statement, Gemma admitted that the night her 13-year-old sister went missing, she lost her family, her friends and her childhood.
Image: BBC One
Speaking on the BBC chat show she said, ‘On the night Milly went missing, the next morning I lost my childhood.
‘I lost my mum and I lost my dad and family and friends. Everyone went into trauma at different times.
‘I knew as soon as the police were called I was never going to see Milly again.’
Gemma continued to explain that being just a child at the time, she felt ‘shut away’ and that her voice was ‘never heard’. It was this sense of isolation that inspired her to write her book, My Sister Milly, and share her experience.
‘I felt so shut away, so desperate. The only thing I wanted to do was find Milly.
‘I felt like I was never heard and my voice was never allowed to be heard by the police. It was all children are seen and not heard.
‘They would keep me out of certain things so I was like I can’t give up on my sister or the family that we were, and that’s why I wanted so desperately to write this book.
‘We hoped we would be able to bring her back to life in the book. Now, I feel so proud and I have done everything I can for my sister.’
Image: BBC One
Gemma’s interview comes 15 years after the night Milly disappeared on her way home from school in Walton On Thames, Surrey, in 2002.
Milly’s body was not found until six months later, 25 miles away in a wood in Yateley Heath, Hampshire.
After being questioned, serial killer Levi Bellfield admitted harrowing details of Milly’s final hours which included assault, rape, strangulation and murder.
Levi was found guilty and given a whole-life prison sentence in June 2011.
Milly was abducted on her way home from school in 2002
Social media users were touched by Gemma’s interview and took to Twitter to send messages of praise and support.
One Twitter user said, ‘Such an emotional interview on @BBCTheOneShow with #GemmaDowler I hope her book #mysistermilly helps her and others’.
Another agreed, ‘#mysistermilly – I shall be buying that book! Brave girl doing that interview tonight @BBCTheOneShow’.
A third praised Gemma as an ‘amazingly strong woman’, ‘Gemma Dowler is an amazingly strong woman. Will be buying her book! #oneshow #BBCOne #mysistermilly’.
My Sister Milly will be released on 29th June.