Rikki’s mum in new plea: If you saw my son on the day he was murdered - tell me where, and tell me when

Part of a social media campaign to find Rikki Neave's killer

Part of a social media campaign to find Rikki Neave's killer - Credit: Archant

The mother of schoolboy Rikki Neave has made an appeal for 15 or more witnesses to come forward who claim to have seen her son on the day he was murdered.

Ruth Neave and her husband Gary have spent hundreds of pounds – and months of research- to obtain the evidence file from the 1996 trial which acquitted her of murdering her son.

“Now, having read many of those statements, I am amazed that the sightings of Rikki on the day he went missing were so casually tossed aside and dismissed by detectives hunting his killer,” she said.

“It has been an uphill struggle to get all of those statements and now having done so I want those who volunteered their information at the time to come forward, re read their evidence, and to ask if the passage of time has prompted fresh recollections.”

Mrs Neave left prison in 2000 after serving a sentence for child neglect and re married 10 years later.

“It is thanks to Gary that I have been finally able to find the strength to persuade police to look again into Rikki’s murder,” she said.

Mrs Neave said: “We went through every brick wall imaginable to get all of the statements from the trial. On the recommendation of a TV reporter I changed my solicitor during the proceedings but as it turned out this was the worst decision I could have made.”

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Now, having found a Cambridgeshire solicitor willing to help, she has retrieved evidence and statements from the Northampton Crown Court proceedings.

“I have always believed the answer to Rikki’s death is within those files,” she said.

Among the many statements examined by Mrs Neave and Gary are witnesses as diverse as school children and parents to a council enforcement officer who is 95 per cent certain he saw Rikki at 7.45pm on Monday November 28, 1994, the day Rikki went missing.

Mrs Neave said: “I have since found out that the files would normally have been destroyed six years after the trial- but luckily they weren’t.”

The sightings of Rikki throughout the day he went missing (his body was found at noon the following day, spread eagled, in a copse near his Peterborough home) were mainly dismissed by detectives at the time.

They remained convinced he was dead by 2.30pm on the Monday and his body hidden until that night or the following day prior to its discovery.

“There is much more I want to know,” said Mrs Neave. “I want to know why other witness statements show major discrepancies, including those of my late partner Dean who in one statement said he was at home near Wisbech with his new partner and later admitted to being in Peterborough instead on the night police were hunting for Rikki.”

Many of those who claim to have seen Rikki on that Monday were dismissed by police as “ghost sightings” but Mrs Neave is convinced that her son was alive and well until much later.

“I want those who say they saw Rikki that day – and were not believed- to contact me,” she said.

“I promise them it will be in complete confidence. The only thing that matters is finding who killed my son.”

One of the key pieces of evidence that Mrs Neave remains perplexed about is the lack of credence given to a statement from a paperboy who said he had seen somone coming from woods at 6.30am on the day Rikki’s body was found. He also spoke of a second youth coming from the woods, stumbling out, to use his words, and he named both to police. I want that piece of the jigsaw re-examined too.”

On November 28, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Rikki’s murder, Mrs Neave is planning a press conference to appeal for new information.

Cambridgeshire Police recently promised to “re-examine” some of the issues raised with them by Gary and Ruth; the couple hope a new publicity campaign will provide more detail for detectives to re-consider.

Contact Ruth Neave via Facebook Justice for Rikki or by email:

rikkisjustice@email.com

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