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The family of an Asian student whose body was found in the Thames after he was racially abused say a new witness has come forward claiming to have information that he was murdered.

Ricky Reel, 20, disappeared in October 1997 after a night out with friends in Kingston-upon-Thames.

His group were racially abused by two white youths and there was a confrontation during which Ricky vanished. His body was found a week later in the Thames nearby. A post-mortem examination found he had drowned.

Two major police investigations were launched into his death following criticism of the way officers handled the early stages of his disappearance.

The family have said detectives did not take the case seriously because Ricky was Asian and they have always maintained that he was murdered.

Now his mother, Sukhdev Reel, says she has received a letter from an anonymous woman who claims to have information about a convicted murderer who may have been involved in his death.

In an interview to be shown on BBC London tonight, she says: “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.”

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