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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Ricky Reel's family claims new evidence over student's killing

An Indian student whose body was found in the Thames in London in 1997 days after being attacked by racist thugs, may have been murdered, his family claims.

Reports say the family of Ricky Reel, a 20-year-old studying at Brunel University at the time, has been approached by a witness with fresh new evidence that suggests his death was not an accident, as the police have claimed over the past 15 years.

Mr Reel, who was living in Kingston, South London at the time, disappeared during a night out with friends after they were targeted by two white youths shouting racist abuse.  

His body was found a week later in the Thames.

Detectives have always maintained his death was an accident and an inquest recoded an open verdict as to the cause of Mr Reel's death.

His family however, say he was murdered and have been critical of the police handling of the case.

Mr Reel’s mother, Sukhdev Reel, has disclosed to BBC London that she was recently contacted by a woman who claimed to have information on a young man and convicted murderer who may have been involved in Mr Reel’s death.

In an interview with the channel, Ms Reel said: “She gave a name as to who he is and where he is. He is currently in prison for a murder. He murdered a man and is spending life in prison.”

Ms Reel says police had dismissed the new information, saying the witness was not 'credible'.

At the time of Mr Reel’s disappearance, the family claimed officers suggested he had run away because he was gay or was facing an arranged marriage.

The full interview with Sukhdev Reel will be broadcast tomorrow night on BBC London News, BBC 1 at 6.30pm

- Staff Reporter

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