Peterborough man arrested for the murder of Rikki Neave is released by police after more than a year

Rikki Neave murder enquiry re-launch at Hinchingbrooke Police HQ with Detective Supt Paul Fullwood
Rikki Neave murder enquiry re-launch at Hinchingbrooke Police HQ with Detective Supt Paul Fullwood

The man arrested on suspicion of the murder of Rikki Neave in Peterborough, who has been held in prison for over a year, has been released from police bail.

Six-year-old Rikki was murdered near his home in Welland in 1994. He had been strangled.

Rikki Neave

Rikki Neave

In April last year Cambridgeshire Police arrested 35-year-old James Watson in connection with the death.

Watson, from the Peterborough area, fled to Portugal and has been held in prison since August 2016 after he was extradited by police.

Detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crimes unit travelled to Lisbon to bring him back to this country.

A statement from Cambridgeshire Police said: “The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) continue to review all materials gathered by police. The 36-year-old man arrested in connection with the offence no longer remains on police bail at this time.

Tributes left to Rikki Neave after his death in 1994

Tributes left to Rikki Neave after his death in 1994

“We do not have access to information relating to people being released from prison - you will need to contact the Ministry of Justice.”

Rikki Neave was six-years-old when he was murdered in Peterborough in November, 1994. He was last seen leaving for school at around 9am on the morning of November 28th.

Rikki’s body was found in a wooded area of Eye Road, close to Willoughby Court at 12:05pm the following day - five minutes’ walk from his house in the Welland Estate.

A post mortem examination concluded that Rikki had died as a result of a compression of the neck – strangulation.

Tributes left to Rikki Neave after his death in 1994

Tributes left to Rikki Neave after his death in 1994

In June 2015, officers from the three-force Major Crime Unit relaunched the investigation into Rikki’s murder with a team of dedicated officers and specialists assigned.

Over the next ten months officers methodically built a timeline of Rikki’s last movements and made a national appeal for help via the BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

Anyone with information about Rikki’s death should contact police on 01480 425882 or email operation.mansell@cambs.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively, you can give information anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.