Man, 78, held over 1965 murder of Wakefield schoolgirl Elsie Frost

Elsie Frost. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Elsie Frost. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

A MAN in his 70s has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a schoolgirl in Wakefield more than 50 years ago.

Police reopened the investigation into the death of 14 year-old Elsie Frost last year.

Today, officers from West Yorkshire Police`s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team arrested a 78 year old man in Berkshire, on suspicion of her murder. 

He has been named locally as Peter Pickering.

He is now in custody at a police station in the Thames Valley will be questioned by West Yorkshire officers. 

Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, senior investigating officer, said:  “A re-investigation into Elsie’s murder was launched in 2015 by West Yorkshire Police, backed by a publicity campaign on the 50th anniversary of her death.

“Since then we have received significant numbers of calls and emails from members of the public offering new information, and have generated new lines of enquiry which officers have been progressing ever since.

“Following those enquiries we have now arrested a 78 year old man in the Berkshire area and will be interviewing him under caution to progress our investigation.” 

Elsie was attacked on the afternoon of October 9th 1965 as she made her way home from her school’s sailing club, on a towpath next to the Calder and Hebble Canal in Wakefield.

As she entered a railway tunnel just off the canal towpath, she was attacked from behind and suffered stab wounds to her back and head. 

Her body was found at the bottom of the ‘ABC’ railway service steps by a dog walker at about 4.15pm. A post mortem confirmed she had suffered stab wounds and that she had died as a result of her injuries. 

Local officers and the Metropolitan Police, who were asked to assist in the case, mounted a major investigation and interviewed hundreds of residents but her killer was never caught. 

Mr Wallen said: “Elsie’s brother and sister have been kept fully apprised of the progress of the enquiry and I wish to commend them for their perseverance and that of members of the media in continuing to campaign for her and to put this case back in the public domain.”