Police in Thames torso case to question man held in Dublin

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The Independent Online

Detectives investigating the suspected ritualistic killing of a boy whose headless torso was found in the Thames are to question a Nigerian man suspected of human trafficking.

Detectives investigating the suspected ritualistic killing of a boy whose headless torso was found in the Thames are to question a Nigerian man suspected of human trafficking.

Police also want to test the DNA of Sam Onogigovie, who is being held in Dublin, which they believe may reveal that the 37-year-old is the father of the dead boy.

The boy had his throat cut and head and limbs cut off before being dumped in the Thames. The body of the unidentified victim, who was aged between four and seven and has been given the name Adam, was found floating in the river near Tower Bridge on 21 September 2001.

Police officers suspect he was kidnapped in Nigeria and smuggled to Britain for a ritualistic killing by a wealthy African family as part of an ancient ceremony. They believe several people took part in the killing and that an African "witchdoctor" who was skilled in ritual murder may have been hired to cut up the boy.

Detectives revealed yesterday that they had been searching for Mr Onogigovie since July last year. He is currently facing extradition to Germany, on whose behalf he was arrested yesterday.

Mr Onogigovie is believed to be the estranged husband of a woman who was arrested in connection with the case in Glasgow in July last year. The woman, who was in her thirties, was later sent back to Nigeria.

Mr Onogigovie was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in his absence in Germany in March 2001 for forgery, claiming residence and crimes linked to trafficking.

He is believed to have been in Dublin for at least several months and his home was being searched yesterday by officers from Scotland Yard.