Murder Over Trail Bike?

Illawarra Mercury

Friday September 12, 1997

Police investigating the strangulation of a 14-year-old boy found in bushland south of Perth suspect he might have been murdered for his trail bike.

James Godden was the subject of one of the largest searches mounted in Western Australia after he vanished while riding his trail bike on Sunday afternoon near his small-town home of Byford, 35km south of Perth.

His body was found by searchers on Wednesday dumped in a nearby creek and a post-mortem yesterday established James had been strangled.

Acting Detective Superintendent Mel Shervill, head of personal crime division, yesterday said James was still wearing his protective riding clothing, but his 125cc Honda motorcycle and full-face helmet were missing.

Police were searching yesterday for a couple seen by a number of witnesses camping in the popular recreational area when James was murdered.

Supt Shervill said police assumed that James' murderer had stolen the motorcycle although there was no evidential link.

"It's very puzzling that a boy would meet his death over such an item," he said.

© 1997 Illawarra Mercury

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