“Do the right thing and help us get justice for Kieran and his family.”

That’s the plea from officers as they continue to investigate the death of a teen – whose body was found in a makeshift grave a year ago.

Kieran Williams, 18, went missing from his Esplanade West home on April 18 last year and extensive enquiries were carried out to locate him.

But tragically, on May 31, a make-shift grave was found on a disused industrial estate South of the River Wear, between the Northern Spire Bridge and Claxheugh Rocks.

Read more: Kieran Williams murder: Evidence of one of accused Sunderland killers

When Kieran was found in the grave, he had been stabbed multiple times and his body had been set on fire.

Two men were later charged in connection with Kieran’s death and stood trial at Newcastle Crown Court, where they were both acquitted of murder.

But, one of the men, 20-year-old Louis Hackett, of Fordenbridge Square, was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for five years.

However, a judge concluded at the hearing that Kieran’s killer remains at large.

A year on from the devastating discovery of Kieran's body, Detective Chief Inspector Matt Steel, the senior investigating officer for the case, has urged the public to help police secure closure for Kieran’s family.

He said: “It has been one year since the body of Kieran Williams was tragically found – and justice has not yet been done for his family.

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“This was a truly horrendous murder where a young man was brutally stabbed at least 23 times and left to die in a hidden grave for six weeks before he was located.

“As ever, our thoughts remain with Kieran’s loved ones as they continue to come to terms with their loss, and we remain committed to getting answers for them.

“I would like to thank them for their dignified approach whilst this complex investigation has been ongoing – and after an outcome at court that did not provide the closure they deserve.

“While Hackett was found guilty of manslaughter at a recent trial, our investigation remains very much open as we actively pursue a number of lines of enquiry.

“A dedicated team of detectives continue to comb through the evidence in this case and follow every avenue to identify any other offenders involved in Kieran’s murder.

Read more: Investigation launched after man’s body found in Highbury, Jesmond

Det Chief Insp Steel added: “And today, on the anniversary of Kieran’s body being found in such horrific circumstances, I am urging anyone who knows something about Kieran’s death to do the right thing and get in touch with police.

“It was well reported at trial that, in addition to Hackett’s, there were also other unidentified fingerprints found in the grave. And while enquiries are ongoing, we need support from the community to help identify anyone found to be involved and bring Kieran’s killers to justice.

"Simply put, Kieran’s murder continues to haunt his family day and night – so if not for our sake, please do the right thing for them to end their prolonged suffering.

"If you are reading this appeal and know something about the circumstances of Kieran’s death or other people involved, please do not delay in contacting the police.”

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Anyone with information about Kieran William’s murder is asked to contact police as soon as possible through their dedicated Major Incident Public Portal online Public Portal (mipp.police.uk) or by calling 0191 437 4750.

Anyone who believes they have been at the site of the grave, formerly owned by Coles Cranes, between the Easter and Jubilee weekends of April 15 and June 2, for a legitimate reason, is also urged to get in touch so they can be eliminated from the investigation.

You can also report information anonymously by calling independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.