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Jumat, 12 Maret 2021

Police confirm body is that of missing London woman Sarah Everard - ABC News

British police have confirmed a body found in woodland south-east of the capital is that of missing London woman Sarah Everard.

The 33-year-old was last seen on March 3 as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London.

On Wednesday Metropolitan Police announced they had found a body in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, about 90km south-east of London, and on Friday the force's Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave confirmed it was Ms Everard.

Assistant Commissioner Ephgrave said a Met Police officer aged in his 40s who was arrested on Tuesday remains in custody on suspicion of her murder.

"Specialist officers are in constant contact with her family and have updated them on this terrible news," he said.

"We continue to support them as best we possibly can in these truly dreadful circumstances."

"Our investigation continues with hundreds of officers working around the clock to find out exactly what has taken place."

Met Police said the officer, who works for the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, had not been on duty the night Ms Everard disappeared.

A woman in her 30s, who media said was his partner, was released on police bail after having been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, has also launched an investigation into the handling of the case as several days before Everard disappeared, the arrested officer had been reported over allegations of indecent exposure in a south London fast food restaurant.

'We too are horrified'

A poster asking people for information about missing woman Sarah Everard is seen on a London street.
Many women have shared their stories of harrassment in the wake of Ms Everard's death.(

Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP

)

Ms Everard's disappearance has sent shockwaves through London and triggered an outpouring of grief across the UK, with many women sharing their stories of harassment by men in public on social media.

Asst Commissioner Ephgrave said the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the Met were with Ms Everard's friends and family at this "unimaginably painful time" and said extra officers would be patrolling London streets.

"I know that the public feel deeply hurt and angry and I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say that we too are horrified," he said.

"I understand that women in London and the wider public, particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing, will be worried and may well be feeling frightened.

"Londoners are likely to continue to see extra officers on the streets in the coming days.

"Please know our officers are committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe.

"Our dedication to serve the people of London is undiminished."

On Thursday Ms Everard's family paid tribute to her, saying their "beautiful daughter Sarah was taken from us and we are appealing for any information that will help to solve this terrible crime".

sarah everard smiles and holds a medal.
Sarah Everard's family paid tribute to a "wonderful daughter and sister".(

Supplied: Metropolitan Police

)

"Sarah was bright and beautiful — a wonderful daughter and sister," the family said in a statement.

"She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable."

Police have been criticised by organisers of a Reclaim These Streets vigil set take place on Saturday in Clapham Common, near where Ms Everard was last seen, after officers warned such a gathering would break strict COVID-19 restrictions and attendees could be fined.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged those planning to attend to maintain social distancing.

"He understands the strength of feeling around this case and nobody could fail to be moved by the experiences shared by many women since Sarah's disappearance." he said.

"We are still in a pandemic, we would ask people to follow the rules and social distancing rules but we do understand the strength of feeling on this issue."

ABC/wires

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2021-03-12 17:05:40Z
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