Murdered boy: police search woods

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Police investigating the killing of 11 year old Rhys Jones have been carrying out searches on a section of woodland in Merseyside.

The area, Dan Wood, adjoining the Croxteth Park Estate in Liverpool, was sealed off after a tip-off from local people. Chief Inspector Ray Beirne, who is leading the search teams, said: "It is a very large area of wood and we are having to look through every bit of it.

"We have 46 police officers specially trained in this type of search and eight police dogs. It will take as long as it takes."

Rhys died after being shot in the neck as he played football outside the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth at about 7.30pm last Wednesday. Police have so far questioned and released 10 suspects, six of them on police bail.

Rhys is suspected to have being inadvertently caught up in a violent feud between two gangs. Detectives say they had received a "steady stream" of calls from the public following appeals to help catch the killer.

Rhys's parents Melanie and Stephen Jones have made a direct appeal to the killer to give himself up. Mrs Jones, 41, said: "Do the right thing. Please come forward. I know it will be hard but my son is dead and we need to bring this to an end."

She added: "It is going to be on your conscience for the rest of your life. Turn yourself in because they are going to find you anyway."

Rhys was a fervent Everton FC fan. The team's anthem, the Z Cars theme tune by Johnny Todd, was played for the first time ever at the home ground of rivals Liverpool last night before a Champions League qualifying match against Toulouse. The decision was taken after a suggestion in the local newspaper.