Arrest made in Peterborough area in the hunt for killer of six-year-old Rikki Neave - police reveal news to his mum in 7am visit

PUBLISHED: 10:38 19 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:01 19 April 2016

Rikki Neave.

Rikki Neave.

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A man from the Peterborough area has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of six year-old Rikki Neave nearly 22 years ago.

Rikki Neave.Rikki Neave.

The major crimes unit, who re-opened the investigation last June, are expected to release more details of the arrest shortly.

First to learn of the arrest was Rikki’s mother Ruth, who stood trial but was acquitted of her son’s murder.

In the past two years a campaign, led by the Cambs Times and using much of the research carried out by Mrs Neave’s husband Gary, began to persuade the police to launch a fresh inquiry.

That culminated in a dramatic press conference which revealed up to 30 officers were being drafted in to begin a fresh inquiry.

Today’s breakthrough and news of the arrest was given by senior crimes unit officers to Ruth and Gary at their Cambridgeshire home; the couple were woken just before 7am to be told of the arrest.

A police statement said the man, who is in his 30s and from Peterborough, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody at a police station in Cambridgeshire.

He was arrested in Peterborough this morning by officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

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.

In June last year (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 past ten months officers have been methodically building 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

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