TWENTY years ago today, a young carefree German backpacker went missing on the East Coast in a suspected homicide that has haunted the state ever since.
For Nancy Grunwaldt's family, who have flown to Tasmania to be here for the anniversary, the nightmare that began on March 12, 1993, has never ended.
Had she lived, Miss Grunwaldt could have expected to return to Steinverkerche, a small town near Denmark, to raise a family or continue her career as a travel agent.
She would have attended her dad Bernd's funeral in 2005, with her mother and only sister, and last month would have turned 46.
Instead Helga Grunwaldt has religiously travelled back to Tasmania for two decades to try to learn how and why her daughter's life was secretively taken away.
Yesterday, a Tasmanian close to the family pleaded for the person who holds the key to Miss Grunwaldt's disappearance to come forward and end part of their suffering.
``My own personal feeling is somebody knows what happened to Nancy and it would be really, really good if they told the mother after all this time,'' Westbury's Heather Donaldson said.
``She has always deserved [to know] but I think 20 years is long enough for whoever has that secret to come forward.''
The secret starts five kilometres south of Scamander where Miss Grunwaldt, 26, was last seen as she rode her Road Chief Marauder mountain bike along the Tasman Highway about 11am.
The veteran traveller had arrived several days earlier in Tasmania after a trip to New Zealand.
From Devonport she'd made her way to St Helens with a plan to travel on to Hobart.
There she wanted to meet a long-term pen friend in person.
But a trusting Miss Grundwaldt simply disappeared leaving no trace, making it extremely difficult for investigators to learn what had happened.
Her hired bike has never been recovered nor any of her possessions.
In 2004, Coroner Peter Wilson found she had met foul play somewhere between St Helens and Bicheno.
The most likely of the five scenarios he put forward was a homicide followed by the disposing of her body and possessions.
Seven years later, the coroner's findings were rejected by a former detective who came forward with an alternative story.
Two years ago in The Examiner , Bob Coad, who had worked on the case, revealed he believed Miss Grundwaldt was the victim of a hit and run on the Elephant Pass.
His theory was based on two phone calls - one to a Hobart lawyer in 1993, the other to Crime Stoppers in 1997 - made by a man who claimed to have hit a cyclist with his car and pushed her body off the pass.
The caller's admissions matched the timeline of Miss Grunwaldt's disappearance.
Mr Coad's story sparked renewed interest in the case prompting about 16 people to come forward with information.
Last year Launceston detectives received the strongest lead on the case in a long time and twice dug up portions of the Bicheno tip in search of the bike that Miss Grunwaldt was last seen riding.
A Launceston man had come forward claiming he saw a bike fitting the description at the tip there following her disappearance.
Despite the search, nothing was found.
Lead investigator Detective Inspector Scott Flude admitted the cold case was a particularly frustrating one for police, but it remained open and was still being actively pursued.
``We'd be keen to heard from anyone with information,'' he said.
Police will meet with Mrs Grunwaldt next week to discuss the case.
In the meantime members of the Grunwaldt family will spend time on the East Coast visiting beaches like Beaumaris where Miss Grunwaldt enjoyed some final peace before going missing.
Despite the painful memories the state holds for the family they have grown affectionate of Tasmania.
``The East Coast is where they really want to be because that's were Nancy was,'' Mrs Donaldson said.
``This is where they lost Nancy.''
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Tasmania Police Assistance Line on 131 444.