Latvian man held for questioning in U.K. murder

Police in Latvia have arrested a 42-year-old man wanted for questioning in the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in London, according to media and police sources.

The man, who put up no resistance, was arrested June 2 at his home near Līvāni and jailed in Preiļi, said Latvian State Police spokesperson Kristīne Mežaraupe. Līvāni and Preiļi are in eastern Latvia.

He is wanted for questioning in the May 16 rape and murder of Jeshma Raithatha, a high school student who disappeared after an afternoon shopping trip in west London. Her body was discovered eight days later. Raithatha had been stabbed three times through the heart.

The man is a Latvian citizen, Mežaraupe said. He was working in a car wash and living near where the crime occurred. He disappeared shortly after the murder, media reports and police said.

The man has not been charged with a crime, a Scotland Yard spokesperson told Latvians Online. In fact, British police have not publicly identified the man, although his name has been revealed in British media.

It may take about a month to process the man’s extradition to the United Kingdom, Mežaraupe said. He is due to appear in Preiļi District Court in the next few days and could decide to voluntarily return to the United Kingdom for questioning.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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