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
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee