Jeshma murder: man arrested in Latvia

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The Independent Online

A man has been arrested in Latvia by detectives investigating the murder of teenager Jeshma Raithatha, police said today.

A 42-year-old man has been arrested by Latvian detectives in connection with the murder of teenager Jeshma Raithatha, police said today.

Viktors Dembovskis, the main suspect in the rape and murder of the 17-year-old in London, was held just after 8pm last night, Scotland Yard said.

Officers were searching for the car wash attendant after he disappeared from his home, close to where Jeshma lived in Greenford, west London.

A police spokeswoman said: "Latvian Police have arrested a man on behalf of the Metropolitan Police in connection with the murder of Jeshma Raithatha. Inquiries are continuing."

A later police statement said: "Detectives investigating the murder of Jeshma Raithatha have confirmed that the man arrested last night by Latvian Police is the man they were seeking from Dimmock Drive, Greenford."

Dembovskis is understood to have been arrested in Livani, 150 miles east of the capital Riga.

Earlier this week detectives released CCTV footage of Jeshma's final movements in the hope it would jog the memory of anyone who saw her on the day she was killed.

The footage shows Jeshma shopping. In a series of pictures, Jeshma, casually dressed in jeans, T-shirt and cardigan, is seen queuing to buy a top in Primark at about 2.20pm on May 16.

That morning she had been studying for her A-Level examinations at Claremont High School in Kenton.

After visiting Primark, she went to Poundcity, where she bought a candle, before catching the bus to Sudbury Hill.

Arriving there at around 3pm, Jeshma then began her walk home, heading down a road beside a recreation ground toward the David Lloyd Sports Centre.

Her route home would have taken her along a footpath, which cuts through a wooded area, toward the Wood End estate.

Police are still unsure exactly where and when along this route she was accosted, but it is thought she was grabbed by a stranger and taken to a secluded "den" in the woodland, just 70ft from the footpath.

It is there police believe she was raped and then stabbed three times in the heart.

Jeshma was reported missing later that evening by her parents after she failed to return home. Her body was not discovered until eight days later.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who was either going to or from the sports centre that day or to anyone who may have seen her that afternoon as she walked home.