The son of murder victim Jane Furlong has told of how robbed he feels at growing up without a mother - and he wants to know who's responsible.
Police this week confirmed a body found by a woman walking her dog at a Port Waikato beach was Furlong, who disappeared from Auckland's CBD 19 years ago. Her son was five months old when she vanished.
Aidan Norsworthy, now 19, has spoken publicly for the first time. He told the Herald on Sunday: "I feel robbed I didn't have the chance to get to know her. Even now I think of her pretty much every day - I always have, I always will.
"I have had to deal with not having a mum all my life and wondering what happened to her.
"I have a few photos of her that's all I have. And now I am older than she was when she died, which is kind of a sad situation."
At the time of her disappearance, Furlong, 17, was in a relationship with Daniel Norsworthy. Their son has been raised by his father's parents.
Norsworthy was told by his grandparents from an early age that his mother was taken away too early. "People say I look like my mum but when I was living with my dad people thought we were brothers."
This week, Jane Furlong's mother made a plea for the public to help solve the case.
Norsworthy was aware his mother had been working as a prostitute before she was killed.
"It is unfortunate that all those things are a factor in a lot of people's lives these days and back then probably more," he said. "I mean my mum was young when she had me and she had to do what she had to do to support me ... I don't think any the less of her - she is my mum.
"I want to know what happened to my mother and find out who is responsible for doing this to her. I am not the type of person to take the law into my hands but it would really help me if I knew who did this to her."
Amanda Watt, Aidan's godmother, said she was not entirely surprised to hear the identity confirmed as the body of her close friend. "I didn't want to think about it too much but from the time the skeleton was found on the beach I knew in my heart it was Jane. She fitted the profile - her age, her height and the fact it was in Auckland. We got told how long the body had been there, so if you put two and two together it makes Jane.
"I am shattered about this. I haven't stopped thinking about her for the past 19 years. I have never stopped wanting to find her - the hardest thing thinking you might just see her but that's not going to happen now."
Watt said funeral arrangements hadn't yet been made but family and friends might be in for a surprise. "She always said if she died she wanted Sid Vicious' My Way played at her funeral," she said. "Do you know how that's going to be for her mum and every other person there? That's full on."
She had told Aidan what a wonderful person his mother was.
"I am his godmother. I told him Jane was a really cool chick and she will always be my best friend. She meant a lot to me but she absolutely loved him with all her heart. I actually watched Aidan being born at Greenlane Hospital. They asked me to cut the cord but I couldn't ...
"I met him when he was 14 but it was hard to tell him stuff like 'your mum and I used to get wasted all the time', which were our memories. But he looks so much like Jane it's not funny."
A police spokeswoman said the public response to the case had been encouraging.
"We are getting a lot of information that has helped police firm up on what we knew back in 1993 and 1996. We are following up every piece of information but we still appeal to people to come forward and tell us what they know, even if they think it is of no significance. We'd particularly like to hear from anyone who knows if Jane had any association with Port Waikato."
Jane's mother Judith told the Herald on Sunday it had been a hard week, recalling again how she had been forced to foster out her daughter, Jane's attempts at suicide and being a prostitute. "It was horrible to hear that stuff being dragged up again. I had to give Jane up for financial reasons but it was only meant to be a temporary measure."By Carolyne Meng-Yee Email Carolyne