THIS WEEK IN 1990: Couple welcome lifeline appeal to help Romanian orphans

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Janet Cooper with her beloved retriever Trudy, left, daughter Elaine Markley and husband Frank

THIS WEEK IN 1995: Husband hunts for missing wife daily

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An Emsworth couple who plucked two babies from a life of hell in one of Romania’s orphanages, backed The News campaign for aid for other children.

The paper launched a £25,000 appeal to save orphans of Negru Voda.

A relief expedition of volunteers from Portsmouth and Chichester returned from Romania with disturbing pictures and stories that were published in The News.

Negru Voda was an orphanage in Romania which was ‘home’ to 232 children of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime.

More than 150 had died there the previous year.

Children were found lying in their own urine and excrement.

If they were old enough to walk they were kept 50 to a room.

If they were unable to walk they were crammed three to a cot.

Paula and Ian Mariott welcomed The News campaign describing it as invaluable in easing the suffering of

innocent children that had been waiting to die.

Paula said the orphanages in the country could best be described as being like the Nazi concentration camps.

The News Romanian Orphans Appeal was set up to fund a life-saving mission to Negru Voda.

The money raised would equip and maintain the orphanage for five years and would mean a new life for countless children.

John Keeping, a garage owner from Southsea and coordinator for the relief mission said: ‘These children are the victims of an unjust society.

‘They need your help to lead the kind of life any child deserves.’

The Mariotts rescued Katie, six months, and James, eight months, earlier in 1990.

Both would have ended their days in an orphanage had the couple not stepped in.

We wonder, where are they now?