Cambridgeshire

Peterborough murdered boy Rikki Neave case reopened

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

An investigation into the murder of a child two decades ago has been reopened by detectives in Cambridgeshire.

Six-year-old Rikki Neave's naked body was found in woods near Peterborough's Welland Estate on 29 November 1994. He had been strangled.

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

The inquiry is being "started afresh", Cambridgeshire Police said.

Rikki was last seen leaving his home in Redmile Walk, Welland, for school at around 09:00 GMT on Monday, 28 November, 1994.

Image caption Rikki's body was found close to his Welland estate home
Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption The six-year-old was last seen leaving for school

He is believed to have been wearing grey trousers, a white shirt, black shoes and a blue coat.

The following day Rikki's body was found in a wooded area off Eye Road, close to Willoughby Court, about five minutes' walk from his house.

The investigation has been reopened by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

Image caption Despite an extensive police investigation at the time, no-one has been brought to justice
Image copyright PA
Image caption Rikki's body was found in woodland in 1994

Det Supt Paul Fullwood, leading the inquiry, said: "All murder is tragic but when a young child is involved it is truly devastating.

"We owe it to Rikki and his family to find whoever was responsible for his murder and ensure they are brought to justice."

The cold case investigation had been "subject to a detailed review" and new forensics and DNA techniques, together with laser imaging would be used in the new investigation, he said.

"I strongly believe there are people out there who have significant information about Rikki's death and for a valid reason didn't speak to police at the time.

"Now is their opportunity to do the right thing and share that secret they have had to keep for more than 20 years."

A mobile police station has been set up in the Welland area of the city, near to where Rikki's body was discovered.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rikki with his father Trevor Harvey, and mother Ruth Neave after her conviction for child cruelty
Image copyright PA
Image caption Last November Ruth Neave issued a plea for information on the 20th anniversary of Rikki's death

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