A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of four-year-old Keighley boy Riley Turner.
Anwar Rosser, 32, is accused of killing the child at Harewood Road in Bracken Bank on Sunday.
Riley, an identical twin, was pronounced dead at Airedale Hospital early that day.
News of his tragic death has rocked the local community. Cheryl Edge – headteacher at Worth Valley Primary School, where Riley was a pupil – this week paid tribute to him.
She said: “Firstly, we would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Riley at this time.
“He has attended Worth Valley Primary School’s reception class since September and had become a well liked member of the class. Riley was a lively and enthusiastic boy with a cheeky sense of humour.
“After taking time to get to know us, he was beginning to show his own personality. He will be sadly missed by the children and staff.”
Police had been called by the ambulance service to Riley’s home at 4.40am following reports of the death of a child.
A massive investigation and manhunt was then launched by the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET), which sealed off the area around the house and brought in forensic officers to painstakingly examine the scene.
Teams also searched through bins and on garage roofs in the hunt for evidence.
Other sites – including flats at Harewood Rise, a pathway behind Staveley Road and Ingrow Tunnel on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway – were also cordoned off as part of the operation. Officers also swooped on an address in Aire Valley Drive, Bradley, in connection with the inquiry.
Police vehicles and uniformed officers – some armed – swarmed on the Bracken Bank area.
Rosser was arrested at 11.30am at an address in Ingrow.
After being charged with murder, he made an appearance before Bradford and Keighley Magistrates on Tuesday.
Rosser, who appeared in court clean shaven with short, dark hair, stood with his hands clasped in front of him and his head bowed in the secure dock.
Wearing a blue T-shirt and dark trousers, and flanked by two security officers, Rosser, of Harewood Road, answered “I am,” when asked his name by the court clerk, and “yeah” when his address and date of birth was put to him.
The clerk said the court could not consider bail for a defendant accused of murder and the case would have to be sent straight to crown court.
Prosecutor Nadine Clough told the Bench: “I have nothing further to add in those circumstances.”
Rosser’s solicitor, Alias Yousaf, said he had nothing to add.
Chairman of the Bench, Anoop Sharda, told the defendant he would be remanded in custody to appear at Bradford Crown Court the following morning.
Detectives from HMET sat at the back of the court for the two-minute hearing, but no members of the boy’s family attended.
Yesterday, during his first crown court appearance, Rosser was told by Judge Roger Thomas QC he would next be before the court on April 10 for a plea hearing.
A preliminary trial date has been set for July.
Police have not revealed how Riley died.