A man in his 70s has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a West Yorkshire schoolgirl 51 years ago.
Elsie Frost, 14, was murdered on a towpath near the Calder and Hebble Canal in October 1965.
A cold case review to mark the 50th anniversary of her murder was launched last year focusing on the identify a previously unknown man in a white coat on a bicycle who was seen near the murder scene on the afternoon she died.
Now West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Inquiry Team have arrested a 78-year-old man from Berkshire.
Elsie was attacked on the afternoon of October 9th 1965 as she made her way home on a towpath next to the Calder and Hebble Canal in Wakefield.
It is thought she had been watching friends sail on what is now Horbury Lagoon and decided to leave at around 3.50pm, making a different way home to those she was with.
While entering a railway tunnel just off the canal towpath, which now leads onto Monckton Road, she was attacked from behind and stabbed in the back and twice in the head.
A knife blow also pierced a hand which officers believe she had put up behind her head to defend herself.
Her body was later found at the bottom of the ‘ABC’ railway service steps by a dog walker at about 4.15pm, with a post mortem confirming she had suffered stab wounds to her head and body and died of shock and blood loss.
Det Supt Wallen added: “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.
“The response we have received from the public since launching the reinvestigation is a testament to their dedication and to the strength of feeling Elsie’s murder continues to generate in the local community.”
The 78-year-old man is now in custody at a Police Station within the Thames Valley Force area and will be questioned by West Yorkshire officers.
Anyone with information should contact the HMET on 101 or to contact the independent Crimestoppers charity, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.