Cambridgeshire

Rikki Neave death: Portugal extradition set for 1994 murder suspect

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 is to be extradited from Portugal after leaving the UK while on bail.

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

The investigation reopened last year.

James Watson, 35, from Peterborough was arrested and bailed in April. He was re-arrested in Lisbon on Tuesday. He appeared in court where police said he was "not fighting extradition".

Mr Watson was initially bailed until June and re-bailed until September, but last month police confirmed he had left the country.

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He was traced to Portugal where local police detained him in the capital earlier this week.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption James Watson posted a number of photographs of himself in various locations in Portugal on his own Facebook page.

Mr Watson had posted several photographs of himself in Portugal on his Facebook page prior to his re-arrest.

He was held under a European Arrest Warrant on suspicion of breaching his licence, police said. He appeared in court in the Portuguese capital on Thursday.

Image caption Officers searched the area where Rikki's body was found in 1994
Image caption Rikki's body was found close to his Welland Estate home

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

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

He had died as a result of compression to the neck, post-mortem tests found.

Rikki's 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

A Crimewatch appeal broadcast 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.

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

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

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit have 10 days to return him to the UK.

They are expected to travel to Portugal next week, Cambridgeshire Police said.

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