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Man arrested in Latvia for murder of NRI girl in London

June 03, 2005 21:06 IST

A 42-year-old man, the main suspect in the rape and murder of non-resident Indian teenager Jeshma Raithatha in London, has been arrested in Latvia, the police said on Friday.

Raithatha, 17, who resided in Greenford in west London, was raped and  murdered on May 16. Her body was found eight days later.

Officers had been searching for Victors Dembovskis, a middle-aged man of east European origin, in connection with the rape-murder.

He was a car wash attendant, who lived and worked close to Raithatha's residence and was missing from his home.

"The Latvian police have arrested a man on behalf of the Metropolitan police in connection with the murder of Jeshma Raithatha. Inquiries are continuing," a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said.

Dembovskis is understood to have been arrested on Thursday in Livani, 240 km east of the capital Riga.

Earlier this week, detectives released CCTV footage of Jeshma's final movements in the hope that it would jog the memory of anyone who saw her on the day she was killed.

The footage shows Jeshma shopping. In a series of pictures, Jeshma, casually dressed in jeans, T-shirt and cardigan, is seen queuing up to buy a top in Primark, a high street departmental store on the afternoon of May 16.

That morning she had been studying for her A-Level examinations at Claremont High School in Kenton.

After visiting Primark, Raithatha went to Poundcity, another departmental store, where she bought a candle, before
catching the bus to Sudbury Hill. Arriving there, Jeshma then began her walk home, heading down a road beside a recreation ground toward the David Lloyd Sports Centre.

Her route home would have taken her along a footpath, which cuts through a wooded area, toward the Wood End estate.

Police are still unsure exactly where and when along this route she was accosted, but it is thought she was grabbed by a stranger and taken to a secluded "den" in the woodland, just 70 ft from the footpath.

It is there police believe she was raped and then stabbed three times in the heart.

Jeshma was reported missing later that evening by her parents after she failed to return home.


H S Rao in London
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