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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 21:30 GMT
Candle clues ruled out in 'Muti' killing
Police graphic of boy's torso
The boy was found wearing orange shorts
Police investigating the "ritualistic" killing of a young boy whose torso was found in the Thames have ruled out any links to candles and a sheet also found in the river.

Scotland Yard officers had investigated links between the killing and the items which had a man's name written on them.

Detectives have now eliminated the clues after a man was interviewed in New York and gave reasons for why they were found in the Thames.

The boy's killing is believed to be the first "Muti" killing in the UK, a human sacrifice which is practiced in southern Africa.

Prayer service

He was an Afro-Caribbean boy aged five to six years and has been called "Adam" by police.

The sheet and seven candles, found washed up on the southern shore, had the name Adekoye Jo Fola Adeoye written on them.

The Metropolitan Police said on Thursday they had interviewed a man alongside officers from New York's Police Department.

The man confirmed he was the person referred to on the sheet and candles.

He said friends in the UK had held a prayer service seeking to protect him following recent events in the US.

International links

Detectives investigating the killing are continuing to appeal for witnesses and a 50,000 reward has been offered for information.

Police are looking at the ritualistic aspect as a major line of inquiry but also at a paedophile killing, a stranger killing, a mercy killing or domestic death.

The youngster's torso was spotted floating in the Thames by a man walking across Tower Bridge on 21 September last year. It had been in the water for up to 10 days.

Ritualistic murders in South Africa have declined from about 30, 10 years ago, to three in the year 2000.

Police have also been liaising closely with detectives in Germany and Belgium where three similar cases have emerged, involving the murder of children whose bodies were disposed of in running water.


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See also:

29 Jan 02 | England
Thames torso 'was human sacrifice'
25 Jan 02 | England
Ritual killing link to dead boy
21 Dec 01 | England
Torso murder reward offered
26 Sep 01 | England
Police seek torso cases link
24 Sep 01 | England
Police focus on Dutch torso 'link'
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