A FAMILY has doubled the reward money for information about missing Imelda Keenan.
Imelda (22), went missing in Waterford in 1994. She disappeared near her city centre flat and was last seen in the Lombard Street area of the city on Monday, January 3 of that year.
Now, on the 16th anniversary of her mystery disappearance, her Mountmellick family has offered a €10,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.
It effectively doubles the existing reward of €10,000 on offer from Crimestoppers and her family hope it will give new impetus to the search.
"We've got together as a family to come up with this reward, which we hope will lead to new information about what happened to our sister," said her brother Gerry, who lived in the city at the time of Imelda's disappearance.
Every Christmas without Imelda has been difficult for his family, especially for their late mother, who passed away just a year ago.
"Imelda was a very shy girl -- she had a small circle of friends," he said.
"She was on an Anco [now FAS] course at the time in Waterford and wouldn't have been the greatest of mixers socially. But there has to be someone out there who saw something or knows something about what happened to her.
"In the fortnight after she went missing, I fully expected that Imelda's body would be taken out of the Suir, found in the People's Park or somewhere out in the county.
"But nothing -- not a shred of clothing, a shoe or a strand of DNA -- has ever, ever been found that could have led to establishing what happened to Imelda," he told the Laois Nationalist.
The family could not rule out the hope that Imelda was still alive, he said.
"If we thought like that every day since she disappeared, I think a few of us would have condemned ourselves to early graves by now. " Since Imelda's disappearance, the small amount of money that she had saved from both social welfare and her credit union account remains untouched.
"We need closure, and I hope and pray that someone out there can help make this happen," he said.
Imelda was 5ft 4ins tall, had brown hair and blue eyes and was of slender build.
When she disappeared, she was wearing leopardskin trousers and a denim jacket.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the gardai in Waterford at 051-305300 or phone the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.