[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 10:26 GMT
Killer quizzed over missing boys
David Spencer (left) and Patrick Warren
It is thought the boys were last seen begging for food
Detectives have interviewed a convicted paedophile over the disappearance of two young boys near Birmingham on Boxing Day 10 years ago.

David Spencer, who was 13, and Patrick Warren, then 11, went missing from their homes in Chelmsley Wood in 1996.

West Midlands Police have spoken to Brian Field, 70, who was jailed for life in 2001 for the rape and murder of Roy Tutill, 14, over 30 years earlier.

Field denies any involvement in the two boys' disappearance, police said.

Field, who was living near Chelmsley Wood at the time, was interviewed under caution at a police station in the West Midlands last week.

Misadventure or accident

Det Ch Supt Gordon Fraser, head of crime at West Midlands Police, said: "He remains in the inquiry and will possibly be spoken to again.

"Field can only ever be truly eliminated or otherwise once we have established what happened to the boys."

Brian Field
Brian Field was convicted of Surrey school boy Roy Tutill's murder

Police are working on other lines of inquiry including people who may currently be on the sex offenders' register and those with convictions for sex offences in the 1990s.

The possibility of misadventure or accident has not been discounted.

Another part of the investigation revolves around the sudden death and apparent suicide of a 15-year-old boy whose body was found close to Chelmsley Wood in 1997.

This is because of where it happened and because the boy was known to Field at the time, Det Ch Supt Fraser said.

Frozen lake

The boys were seen on Boxing Day by a police officer with a group of friends playing on Meriden Lake, which was frozen.

He warned them of the dangers of playing on ice and told them to go home.

Patrick's red Apollo bike
Patrick's bike, a Christmas present, was found near a petrol station

They then went home and told David's family they were staying at Patrick's brother's house.

The last sighting of them was at the Shell petrol station in Chelmsley Wood, just after midnight, where they were given a pack of biscuits by the assistant.

They were reported missing in the early hours of the next day.

Later, Patrick's red Apollo bike, a Christmas present, was found hidden among bins at the back of the station.

Det Ch Supt Fraser added: "Since the day they were reported missing, West Midlands Police has regularly asked for the boys, or anyone with any information about their whereabouts, or anyone who knows what has happened to them to come forward."

At least 10,000 leaflets, appealing for information, have been produced and will be distributed across Chelmsley Wood and Solihull during the weekend.

Roy Tutill was abducted, raped and strangled in 1968 as he hitch-hiked to his Surrey home from school, to save his bus fare for a new bike.

See more about the case

Nationwide hunt for best friends
10 Nov 06 |  West Midlands
Mother fears missing son is dead
15 May 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific