A purse that belonged to a young London girl murdered in 1983 has been returned to her family.

Provincial police returned Donna Awcock's bag to family members in November of 2016 but did not give any explanation why they kept it for so long.

The purse contained many photographs of family and friends and had a Pepsi button pinned to the front.

"It's like opening a time capsule. It's pretty amazing," says Donna's sister Tammy Dennett.

"When you see the pictures, you just remember she was a person."

It was on Oct.13, 1983 that 17-year-old Donna Jean Awcock was murdered.

On the night of her disappearance, Awcock was babysitting for a woman who asked her to go to the convenience store for her.

The clerk at the store said she remembered the young girl and says she looked nervous.

That was last time Awcock was seen alive.

Her body was found the next day near the Fanshawe Dam. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled to death.

The crime has never been solved.

"For somebody to grab her, rape her, beat her, she didn't deserve what someone did to her," says Donna's mother Carolyn Awcock.

Family members say Donna wasn't in possession of her purse the night of the murder, but police picked it up as evidence and finally returned it last November.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact OPP.

"(I) just wish they find out who did it or somebody come forward with information. Somebody knows who done this," adds Bennett.