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Friday, 24 May, 2002, 20:43 GMT 21:43 UK
Torso police reopen old case
Police graphic of boy's torso
The boy was found wearing orange shorts
Police investigating the murder of a five-year-old boy, whose severed torso was found in the River Thames, are re-examining another case that is over 30 years old.

The headless torso of a baby girl was found hidden in bushes in Epping Forest in Essex in 1969.

But the girl's father was reported to have left the country before he could be questioned about what is thought was a voodoo killing.

The case is being re-examined by officers still investigating the death of a boy whose headless, limbless body was found last September.

African boy

Police think the boy could also be the victim of a ritual killing and are investigating the death of the girl to see if the cases are linked.

The baby girl's head, legs and arms were cut off during a supposed "good luck" ritual.

The torso of the boy, who has been named Adam by officers, was discovered near Tower Bridge.

The label from the shorts
The shorts had German washing instructions

The African boy was thought to have been five or six years' old when he died as his throat was cut.

He has not yet been identified.

The police investigation has involved consultation with an expert on African ritual practices and a public appeal by former South African President Nelson Mandela.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said that as the strongest motive for the murder appeared to be ritualistic, an examination of the police archives of unsolved child murder cases was ordered.

"An initial trawl identified a case from 1969 where parts of a dismembered body of a female child were found and we are looking at that," she said.

Meanwhile, detectives from across Europe are due to meet for a one-day conference on 27 May to discuss ritualistic killings.

Speakers at the conference will include Detective Inspector Will O'Reilly who heads the 'Adam' investigation.


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12 Apr 02 | England
08 Mar 02 | UK
29 Jan 02 | England
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