Rikki Neave death: Suspect in 1994 murder case leaves UK, police say

Rikki Neave Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Rikki Neave, six, was found strangled and naked in woodland in Peterborough

A man suspected of murdering a six-year-old boy 22 years ago has left the country, police have said.

Rikki Neave's naked body was found in woodland near his Welland Estate home in Peterborough in November 1994. He had been strangled.

The investigation was reopened in June last year and a fresh appeal launched.

A 35-year-old man from Peterborough was arrested on 19 April and was due to answer bail in September. Police are trying to get him back to the UK.

Image caption Officers searched the area where Rikki's body was found in 1994

Cambridgeshire Police said: "We have reason to believe that the man who was arrested in connection with the historic murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave left the country while on police bail.

"We have been in communication with him and are working with him and partner agencies in order for him to return to the UK promptly.

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"He remains on police bail to return to a Cambridgeshire police station on September 20."

Rikki was last seen leaving for school on the morning of 28 November 1994.

Image caption Rikki's body was found close to his Welland Estate home

His body was found the next day in a wooded area about five minutes walk from his home.

Post-mortem tests found he had died as a result of compression to the neck.

His mother, Ruth Neave, was cleared of his murder at a trial in 1996. She later admitted child neglect and cruelty and was jailed for seven years.

Despite extensive investigations at the time, no-one was ever convicted of Rikki's murder.

Mrs Neave had repeatedly called for the murder case to be reopened since her acquittal.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption A BBC Crimewatch appeal led police to release an image of two teenage boys sighted leaving the woods where Rikki was later found

Last November, a Crimewatch appeal on the 20th anniversary of Rikki's death led officers to release an e-fit of two teenage boys they wanted to talk to in connection with the case.

They had been seen walking out of the woods where Rikki's body was found on the morning of 29 November.

Cambridgeshire Police said it was unable to comment on whether the man arrested in April was one of the two teenagers pictured.

Image copyright PA
Image caption In November 2014 Rikki's mother Ruth Neave issued a plea for information on the 20th anniversary of her son's death

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