29/08/2007

Rhys Murder - Teenager Arrested

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of Merseyside schoolboy Rhys Jones.

Eleven-year-old Rhys was shot by a hooded youth on a BMX bicycle as he played football with his friends in the car park of the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth on August 22.

On Tuesday, a section of Dam Wood, close to where Rhys was shot, was sealed off and searched, following a tip-off from a member of the public. More than 40 officers have been searching the area, using police sniffer dogs and specialist equipment. Divers have also been involved in the search of the area, where there are also three large ponds.

Merseyside Police have not revealed what evidence they are searching the area for.

Ten people had previously been arrested in connection with Rhys' murder. Four people have been released without charge, while six have been released on police bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Kelly, who is leading the investigation, has appealed for more people to come forward, including a man who has already contacted police before.

Assistant Chief Constable Patricia Gallan also stressed that the identities of anyone with any information regarding the case would be protected. She said it was "fantastic" that people were calling the anonymous Crimestoppers line and stressed that all information received would be acted upon. However, she added: "We now need to make that information into witness statements.

"I know that can be a big step for people who are concerned for their identity, but special measures can be taken to protect them in the courts."

(KMcA/SP)

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