Joanna Yeates police search neighbour's flat after arrest

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Police investigating the murder of Joanna Yeates are searching the flat of her next door neighbour following an arrest earlier today.

A 32-year-old man was detained in the early hours on suspicion of murdering the 25-year-old landscape architect after detectives uncovered fresh evidence. Avon and Somerset Police has not named the suspect, who is being held at an undisclosed location.

Specialist search teams were today at the neighbouring flat to where Miss Yeates lived at 44 Canynge Road in Clifton, Bristol. Dutch architect Vincent Tabak, who is 32 and works for engineering firm Buro Happold, lived there with his girlfriend Tanja Morson.

Workers erected scaffolding and green tarpaulin at the rear of the substantial converted Victorian property today. Police officers sealed off both ends of Canynge Road as officers in white forensic outfits arrived at the property.

Miss Yeates's father welcomed the latest development, which came almost five weeks after she disappeared.

Speaking at the family home in Ampfield, Hants, David Yeates, 63, said he was "pleased" the police investigation was "moving forward".

He said: "We know as much as you do. We were told at 6am this morning that someone was arrested on suspicion of Jo's murder and their age."

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the inquiry, thanked Miss Yeates's family and boyfriend for their support.

He said: "I would like to thank the public for their continued support for the investigation and the information they have provided to us.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Jo's family and to Greg, who continue to be unfailing in their support to me and my team at what is an incredibly difficult and painful time for them."

The arrest was the second to be made by detectives since Miss Yeates's frozen body was found dumped in a lane on the outskirts of Bristol on Christmas Day.

Miss Yeates disappeared on Friday 17 December after going for Christmas drinks with colleagues at her architectural firm.

Her boyfriend Greg Reardon, 27, reported her missing after he returned to Bristol on 19 December following a weekend away visiting family in Sheffield.

A huge police operation swung into action after her body was found on a verge in Longwood Lane, Failand, North Somerset.

Police have said there was no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted but they have not ruled out a sexual motive.

It is understood they are investigating whether Miss Yeates's body was taken from her home in a large bag or suitcase.

The Sun reported that the line of inquiry arose because there were no drag marks on Miss Yeates's body or clothing.

It has also been claimed that police found three separate foreign DNA traces on different parts of the victim's body.

Miss Yeates's landlord Chris Jefferies, 65, was arrested on 30 December and questioned for three days on suspicion of murder before being released.

The breakthrough came a day after police revealed that more than 300 people contacted detectives after a reconstruction of Miss Yeates's final movements was filmed.

Her last journey was walked by an actress on Tuesday night and filmed for the BBC's Crimewatch.

The reconstruction focused on what she did after she left her firm, BDP, in Bristol city centre.

She went first to the Bristol Ram pub on Park Street, where she spent around two hours with colleagues.

At around 8pm Miss Yeates left to make the 30-minute walk home to the Canynge Road flat she shared with her boyfriend.

She was captured on CCTV at a Waitrose supermarket at the Clifton Triangle and a branch of Tesco Express in Clifton village, where she bought a pizza.

Detectives said Miss Yeates made it home to her flat because her shoes, coat, mobile phone, purse and keys were found there.

The pizza, the wrapping and its box are still missing along with Miss Yeates's ski sock. Tests later revealed she had not eaten the pizza.