Christopher Laverack's killer was Melvyn Read, Humberside Police say
Humberside Police say they have solved the murder of nine-year-old Christopher Laverack, whose body was found in Beverley Beck in 1984.
Detectives said today he was killed by his uncle, Melvyn Christopher Read.
Read died in 2008, while serving a prison sentence for sexually assaulting four boys.
Christopher went missing on March 9, 1984, after being left alone to babysit at a house in Harpham Grove, Hull.
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His body was found two days later, wrapped in a plastic carpet underlay bag weighed down by an ornamental brick. He had been sexually abused and beaten to death with a blunt object.
Read was arrested in March 2002 for sexual assaults dating back to the mid-1980s. He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison and died in February, 2008, at the age of 64.
Later that year, The Mail revealed Read was the prime suspect for Christopher's murder.
The identification today of Read as Christopher's killer follows an independent assessment of the strength of the case against him, carried out by Paul Watson QC.
He described the weight of evidence against Read as "conclusive".
In the wake of Read's conviction and identification as a predatory paedophile in 2003, police believed they had a case against him for Christopher's murder.
In 1984 he lived in Grantley Grove, Hull, a 10-minute walk from Harpham Grove. He owned a car that fitted the description of a vehicle seen outside Harpham Grove the night Christopher disappeared. He did not have a meaningful alibi for the night in question and he had knowledge of the site where Christopher's body was found, having worked at a Beckside factory.
Following a 2002 interview with police, he was shown to have lied about issues pivotal to the case.
He had the means and motive to commit the crime and his conviction showed that he had a propensity to harm young and adolescent boys.
In 2007, Detective Superintendent Ray Higgins launched a comprehensive review of the forensic evidence.
Palynologist Dr Patricia Wiltshire concluded there was enough unusual pollen and other plant matter on the clothes Christopher had been wearing the night he went missing to link him with the garden at Read's house in Grantley Grove.
The brick found with Christopher's body was also forensically linked to Read's garden. Detectives suspected the brick had been part of a water feature in the garden.
Det Supt Ray Higgins, who led a review of the case, said: "This has been a very complex case to solve but there can be little more important to relentlessly pursue than the murder of a child.
"Melvyn Read died in prison convicted of a number of serious child sex abuse offences. None of that sexual offending was known to the investigation team in the years immediately following the murder. Had Read not died in prison he would have been arrested for this murder following his release.
"Read was an evil man and a man wholly without remorse. I am satisfied that Christopher's family can have some sense of closure and understanding of what happened.
"This case has taken many years to resolve. We would all wish the evidence to convict were available sooner and whilst Read was still alive to face trial, however that was not to be. The few officers still working on this case, between their other duties, have been determined to do all possible to solve the case and have simply refused to give up."
Police said today Christopher's mother Pamela Cawley had "expressed her relief" at his killer being identified.