VIDEO: “When Rikki died, I died,” says Ruth Neave in exclusive interview following what would have been his 30th birthday
PUBLISHED: 15:21 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:59 15 March 2018
Photo: Harry Rutter
The distraught mother of murdered schoolboy Rikki Neave has spoken out on how she copes with life after his death following what would have been his 30th birthday.
Ruth Neave told how she visited the spot where Rikki is buried to release balloons and lay flowers on Sunday March 4.
It comes as Ruth still desperately awaits information from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as a heavy investigation into the death of Rikki continues.
The six-year-old was tragically found dead in woodland near his home in Peterborough in November 1994.
Speaking about his 30th birthday, Ruth said: “With him being 30 last weekend I have thought ‘is the case ever going to be sorted out?’
“We went to where he is and put balloons out with 30 on. I visit and do something like that most years. This year I got a load of balloons and flowers.
“I know it might seem selfish that I am allowed to do it but I think that if anyone knew where it was then it might turn into a circus and I want my son to be left alone. I want that privacy.
“I have never ever got over his death so every birthday and Christmas it’s really hard to cope with.
“I just want to do everything I can for him and get justice.”
Speaking about the aspirations she had for Rikki’s life, Ruth explained how she hoped he would have settled down with a family.
She said: “I wanted him to have grown up and be a good lad and have given me Grandchildren.
“When he was little he used to get things out of skips that were broke and take them apart and put them back together and they would work. He had the brains to do anything.
“I could see him with a lovely girl and a few kids and that is what really hurts. I wish he could have grown up to do the nice things in life but that was tragically taken away from us and that’s not fair.”
She added: “It has had an awful effect on the family. They hate me but it was not me who killed Rikki, so they should blame that person – not me.
“When Rikki died I died. Something inside me died, it felt like having my arm ripped off.
“It’s been a real struggle, especially at times like this and at Christmas. For the last 23/24 years it has been awful and painful and ridiculously terrible to live with.
“When you have something and someone has taken that away – you never get over it but just want to know ‘why?’
“It is driving me nuts, it is so infuriating. This person has destroyed lives and has given our family a legacy that we will have to live with.”
Ruth, who lived in March for some years before moving to Peterborough, was charged but acquitted of her son’s murder.
A Crimewatch appeal in 2015 resulted in people coming forward to report sightings of Rikki around the Welland Estate, in Peterborough, and near shops with two teenage boys.
Police released e-fits of the teenagers - who were, by then, middle-aged men - who were believed to be living in the local area.
In April 2016, police arrested James Watson, but were unable to comment on whether he was one of the two teenagers.
He was bailed and went to Portugal, where he was re-arrested in August 2016 before being brought back to the UK.
He was subsequently released from bail last year.
Det Chief Supt Paul Fullwood, who headed the major crimes until his recent promotion to assistant chief constable, has told Ruth that “this will always be a really tricky case as it was many years old and high profile”.
He said that both he and all the team “really want to solve this case and bring justice for Rikki more than any we’ve ever been involved with previously”.