Birthdays are meant to be a celebration. But there is little to celebrate today for the family of Georgina Gharsallah, whose 33rd birthday is tomorrow (October 29).
The last time they were with her to mark her birthday was when she turned 30.
Just over four months later, on March 7, 2018, the mother-of-two from Worthing went missing. She was last seen at the Clifton Food and Wine store in Clifton Road, Worthing, and then seemingly disappeared without a trace.
Despite a long investigation – one which has been heavily criticised by the family – leads have dried up and Sussex Police recorded her disappearance as a homicide in August last year.
At 7pm this evening, Georgina’s mother Andrea Gharsallah will be leading a virtual vigil over Zoom, featuring recorded messages from Georgina’s sisters, a photo montage of her and a speech read out by her mum.
Those on the call will be invited to light a candle for Georgina.
Speaking ahead of the event, Andrea, of Normandy Road, Worthing, said: “I never thought we would still be here, doing this, for her 33rd birthday. But we just have to keep on.
“We can’t give up, we have to keep on putting her story out there. I’m not doing this because I want to wish Georgina a happy birthday, because there isn’t anything happy about it.
“But it shows people it is her birthday, and it is another birthday without her.”
Sussex Police has referred itself to the independent police watchdog over its handling of the investigation into Georgina’s disappearance.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner recently met with Andrea and her family, and apologised for ‘significant mistakes in the early part of the investigation in 2018 relating to CCTV’.
To join the call, download Zoom and log in. The Meeting ID is 389 523 1682 and the passcode is 3FEZc4.
Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those who may have murdered her.