VIDEO: American police officer launches campaign to find the killer of six year old Rikki Neave
PUBLISHED: 10:07 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:07 01 August 2014
An American police officer has begun a campaign to find the killer of schoolboy Rikki Neave- and has named several suspects she believes could have murdered the six year-old.
Carrier Anne Gallagher Driscoll a peace officer in the county sheriff’s office, at Claude, Texas, has begun a high profile social media campaign and this week published a You Tube film about the gruesome murder 20 years ago. She is also writing a book about the murder.
“There is a myriad of suspects in this case,” she said. “There was never an investigation into 90 per cent of them. They were questioned, they lied, and they were let go.”
The police officer has been given access by Rikki’s mum Ruth to hundreds of pages of statements from the trial: Mrs Neave herself has spent 18 months obtaining these from solicitors who acted for her at the time.
Ms Driscoll concluded that the statements contain information about “criminals admitting to criminal activity to supply alibis. I see criminals supplying alibis for other criminals.”
Almost 20 years ago, six year old Rikki Neave, who had lived for some years in March before moving to Peterborough, was strangled to death. His body was placed in a wooded copse at some point between the time that he left at 8:30 am on Monday, November 28, 1994 and 12 pm on Tuesday, November 29, 1994. His mother grew worried when he hadn’t arrived home from school at 6 pm on the Monday and she reported him missing.
Last year Cambridgeshire Police re-visited the case but, in the absence of new evidence, told Mrs Neave they could not pursue it any further.
But Ms Driscoll believes the witness statements hold vital keys to finding the killer- including reports of an older boy being seen leading Rikki by the hand to the copse where the body was found.
Michael Doherty, director of the UK pressure group Justice NOW, has also taken a major interest in the case.
He said: “A cop from the USA has taken control of a failed investigation into the murder of Rikki, a six year old boy. She has uncovered much that Cambridgeshire police have plainly kept concealed. Pressure is mounting for the case to be reopened.”
Ms Driscoll has questioned why police took no action against Ruth’s husband Dean who “gave three conflicting statements about his whereabouts at the time”. She says the newly acquired statements also show a woman witness changing her statement on at least two occasions.
She said she had been in touch too with chief constable Simon Parr, initially about pathology reports questioning the time of Rikki’s death.
Ms Driscoll said: “He told me ‘this is an ongoing case and we do not share evidence on ongoing cases with other agencies.’ I let it go. I know many people have emailed him requesting that he ‘“reopen’ the case. It’s not closed according to him so all he needs to do is investigate the case properly.
“He doesn’t need new evidence. He needs to work the old evidence and follow up on the any opportunities to develop a suspect that they missed.
“I am sure I have some things wrong but anyone can see that this case has been poorly investigated and shoved under the rug. We need to remember that there is a dead, six year old boy involved.
“Had this been my case I couldn’t have let smoulder. I’d be looking at it every year or two and put rookies on it because they notice more.”
Mrs Neave said: “I want who killed Rikki and the people who were involved. We are not giving up now. They know who they are- they can hide but they will be found.”
Earlier this year Mrs Neave broke a 20 year silence to speak out for the first time – and to the Cambs Times - in a bid to force Cambridgeshire Police to re-open their murder file. Mrs Neave, who was released from prison 14 years after serving five years of a seven year sentence, is remarried and living quietly in a small Cambridgeshire flat but she says the memory of her son’s murder will never leave her.
Six years ago she met her husband of four years Gary and together they have pieced together evidence which they say point urgently to the need for the investigation to be re-opened.