Cambridgeshire

Rikki Neave death: Suspect in 1994 murder arrested in Portugal

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 been arrested in Portugal after leaving the UK while on bail.

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 reopened last year.

Last month police confirmed a man arrested in April had left the UK. Extradition procedures have begun after he was found in Lisbon.

The 35-year-old suspect from Peterborough was initially bailed until June and rebailed until September.

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

In July Cambridgeshire Police said they had "reason to believe the man who was arrested in connection with the historic murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave left the country while on police bail".

They said they were "communicating" with the man and "working with... partner agencies in order for him to return to the UK promptly".

'Breaching licence'

Officers confirmed he was detained by local police in the Portuguese capital "at around lunchtime" on Tuesday.

"He has been arrested under a European Arrest Warrant on suspicion of breaching his licence," a spokesman said.

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

Officers from the Major Crime Unit are expected to travel out to Portugal in the coming days.

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

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.

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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