Dumped in the Thames: The five-year-old boy identified as Adam
This is the little boy whose headless and limbless body was found floating in the Thames ten years ago, it was claimed last night.
The five-year-old’s identity has remained a mystery after he was smuggled into Britain and murdered in a voodoo-style ritual killing.
He was drugged with a ‘black-magic’ potion and sacrificed before being thrown into the Thames, where his torso washed up next to the Globe Theatre in September 2001.
Detectives used pioneering scientific techniques to trace radioactive isotopes in his bones to his native Nigeria. They even enlisted Nelson Mandela to appeal for information about the murder.
But they always struggled to formally identify the boy, who they called Adam, despite travelling to the West African state to try to trace his family.
Now Nigerian Joyce Osiagede, the only person to be arrested in Britain as part of the inquiry, has claimed that the boy in this picture is Adam. She said his real name is Ikpomwosa.
In an interview with ITV’s London Tonight, Mrs Osiagede said she looked after the boy in Germany for a year before travelling to Britain without him in 2001.
She claimed she handed the boy over to a man known as Bawa who later told her that he was dead and threatened to kill her unless she kept silent.
Grim: The headless, limbless body of a boy aged between five and six was found floating in the river near Tower Bridge and the Globe theatre in 2001
Asked directly during an interview at her home in Nigeria if the boy in the photograph is Adam, Mrs Osiagede replied: ‘Yes.’
Saying she is now willing to talk to police, she added: ‘Ikpomwosa. Baby Adam, his native name was Ikpomwosa.’
The identification is a potentially huge breakthrough for Scotland Yard detectives.
Retired Detective Chief Inspector Will O’Reilly, who led the investigation, said: ‘Without a name murders are very hard to solve. So this is a crucial starting point for us and it should lead us to who killed him.’
Sinister: Tests revealed that the child was poisoned with an extract from the carabar bean which would have left him paralysed but conscious when his throat was cut
Police have passed numerous files on the case to the Crown Prosecution Service but the case has never gone to court.
A second suspect, a Nigerian man, was arrested in Dublin in 2003 but was never charged.
Mrs Osiagede was first questioned by police after they found clothing similar to that worn by ‘Adam’ in her Glasgow tower-block flat in 2002.
The only clothing on his body was a pair of orange shorts, exclusively sold in Woolworths in Germany and Austria.
Dressed in a traditional gold and green dress, Mrs Osiagede denied any involvement with the death of the young boy. Asked who killed him, she said a ‘group of people’.
She added: ‘They used him for a ritual in the water.’ Claiming the boy was six years old, she said: ‘He was a lively boy. A very nice boy, he was also intelligent.’
Detailed analysis of a substance in the boy’s stomach was identified as a ‘black magic’ potion.
It included tiny clay pellets containing small particles of pure gold, an indication that Adam was the victim of a Muti ritual killing.
Muti murders, common in sub-Saharan Africa, are carried out in the belief that the body parts of children are sacred. Bodies are often disposed of in flowing water.