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Mystery torso of African boy 'identified'

THAMES: The torso was found in the river near Tower Bridge

THE TORSO of a murdered African boy discovered in the River Thames in 2001 has been identified by a witness in the case, which has remained unsolved since the beginning.

Joyce Osagiede, who was linked to the body by police when she lived in Glasgow in 2002, told BBC News the boy was called Patrick Erhabor.

Osagiede, living now in Nigeria after she was deported from the UK, said she knew the boy through looking after him while he stayed in Germany before being trafficked to London where he was murdered.

The torso was found on September 21, 2001, in the water near Tower Bridge, central London. Detectives, who named the unknown boy “Adam”, concluded the arms and legs had been expertly removed and that the killing was associated with a ritual sacrifice.

No person has been charged with the murder.

It is believed the boy came from the Benin City area of Nigeria after forensic tests were conducted.

Osagiede said the boy was brought into her care while she was living in Germany and that she passed him over to a man known to her as “Bawa”, who then took the boy to Britain. However, for the first time, the witness identified Bawa as Kingsley Ojo – a fraudulent asylum seeker who arrived in London in 1997.

In 2002, police arrested Ojo in connection with the case of unidentified body, and after circumstantial evidence was recovered from the man’s residence it was not enough to prove it linked Ojo to the dead boy.

In 2004, Ojo was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for human trafficking. He was later deported to Nigeria after police decided he had been wasting their time when he volunteered to help in the unsolved case.

Nonetheless, Osagiede, who is currently on medication and has experienced psychological problems in the past, has not been regarded as an overly reliable witness by police.

The BBC brought the new developments in the case to the attention of the Metropolitan Police. A Met spokesman said “the investigation remains ongoing and any new information provided to the team will be thoroughly investigated”.

If you have information regarding the case, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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