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VOODOO MURDER SUSPECT: MY SON WAS KILLED IN RITUAL; Asylum seeker's black magic claim alerted police.

Byline: BRENDAN McGINTY Exclusive

THE mother suspected of the voodoo murder of a young boy has admitted her own son was killed in a black magic ritual.

Asylum seeker Joyce Osagiede told immigration officials her son was sacrificed in a macabre ceremony in Africa.

It was this shocking admission that alerted police and led to her arrest in Glasgow, we can reveal.

She was held in July, 10 months after the dismembered torso of a young boy - thought to be around five and named Adam by police - was found in the Thames.

At the time of her arrest Osagiede, 31, who came to the UK from Nigeria, was living in a flat assigned to asylum seekers in Glasgow. A source close to the murder squad said: "She first came to our attention as a result of her asylum application. She told immigration officials that she had a son who died in a ritual killing.

"After Adam's body was found she emerged as someone we wanted to speak to for that reason." Osagiede, who is being held in Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow airport, told the Sunday Mail her son was killed "in a diplomatic way". She then insisted he died of natural causes.

She has been interviewed several times over the Adam's murder but detectives now face a race against time to charge her before she is deported. Her asylum application has been rejected, but she would be kept in the country if she is charged.

If she is sent back to Nigeria, her two children, currently in care in Scotland, may be returned to her.

Police involved in the case held a poignant memorial ceremony for Adam last Saturday, a year to the day since his body was found. A wreath was laid in the Thames in tribute to the tragic youngster.

Forensic experts probing his death have revealed new information about the case.

It shows Adam was fed poison before his body was dumped - a concoction of minerals and other material were found in his lower intestine, supporting the theory that he was the victim of ritual murder.

Detectives, who have travelled to South Africa in their investigations, say potions are routinely used in ritual murders.

A spokesman said: "The use of ju-ju men or witch doctors is actually very high among the African community in Britain.

"When Adam's body was first found, we discovered candles with a name carved on them and a sheet with the name written on them, close to where the body was dumped.

"We thought they may be connected but we have since discovered they were used in a prayer ceremony.

"A woman asked a local witchdoctor to say a `protection prayer' for her brother, who lived in New York, after September 11."
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 29, 2002
Words:460
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