Jayden Parkinson search: Family 'devastated' after body found in cemetery

 

The family of Jayden Parkinson are "heartbroken and devastated "following the discovery of a body yesterday evening in a cemetery, Thames Valley Police said this morning.

During a brief press conference the man leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray, said: "We had prepared Jayden's family for the worst but I'm afraid nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child.

They had discovered what are thought to be the remains of the 17-year-old, who has been missing for more than two weeks, in a recently disturbed grave in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Didcot, Oxfordshire.

Detectives believe the young girl was murdered after she went missing on December 3.

A formal identification of the body has yet to take place, but her family have been informed and are being supported by specialist police officers.

The teenager, who had recently moved to Oxford, was last seen leaving Didcot railway station at 4.27pm on the day of her disappearance.

Police said there had been "no indication" she was alive, after revealing Jayden had not appeared to have used her mobile phone or accessed her bank account in the days since she had been reported missing.

Officers had previously issued an appeal for information about a man seen struggling with a suitcase just outside the village of Upton, at about 2am on Monday December 9.

The focus of an extensive and detailed search over the weekend had been a 2km area of farmland on the outskirts of the village - including woodland and derelict farm buildings -following reports of the sighting.

Officers said the same man was later seen with the same suitcase in the Lydalls Road area of Didcot - where All Saints is located - at about 3.30am the same day.

Police also confirmed that during the course of their murder investigation it had been suggested Jayden may have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance, although Mr Murray said they "had no way of confirming whether this is correct or not".

Jayden Parkinson went missing on 3 December. Jayden's former partner, 22-year-old Ben Blakeley, has been charged with her murder and perverting the course of justice. He is due to appear at Oxford Crown Court for a plea hearing on March 17 next year.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also been charged with perverting the course of justice between December 3 and December 10 by assisting in the disposal of Jayden's body and other evidence.

The force said in a statement that officers and forensic scientists will continue to work at the cemetery throughout the night and into the next day.

"Our thoughts are with Jayden's family at this extremely difficult and distressing time," Thames Valley Police said in the statement.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future