A team of television psychics who are to "investigate" the mysterious death of Ricky Reel in 1997 have been blasted by a senior police officer for "raising the expectations of the family".

Since Ricky's body was found in the Thames in October 1997, his mother Sukhdev Reel has claimed he was victim of a racist killing.

An inquest into his death recorded an open verdict, and no evidence of an unlawful killing was ever found.

Nearly 10 years later, three psychics have looked into the case for a programme called Psychic Private Eyes for cable television channel Zone Reality.

Publicity for the show states it "conducts real life psychic investigations into baffling murders and disappearances, using the unique skills of Colin Fry, Tony Stockwell and the remarkable female psychic medium TJ Higgs".

One of the psychics, Colin Fry, was attempting to find clues to the murder of Croydon model Sally-Ann Bowman, but did not find anything conclusive.

Mrs Reel said she got involved with the programme because she wanted answers. She said: "The psychics looked into what we have been asking for a long time. I still maintain he was murdered and taking part in this has strengthened this."

Detective Superintendent Sue Hill of Kingston Police, who was the investigating officer in the case, said police would not be carrying out any further investigation. She said: "We've declined to meet people from the show, as we only deal with facts and evidence. The inquest result was an open verdict and there was no evidence of an unlawful killing.

"It was a tragic death and I feel very sad this programme is raising the hopes and expectations of the family. Mrs Reel should be given the opportunity to move on."