Police link murders of vicar and teacher killed at her home

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the death of a vicar in south Gloucestershire have "formally linked" the case to the killing of a Worcestershire pensioner.

Retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, was found dead at the bottom of the stairs at her home on the banks of the river Severn on 4 January, having been killed two days earlier. Reverend John Suddards' body was discovered on 14 February by workmen who arrived to carry out work at the vicarage.

Stephen Farrow, 47, pictured, was arrested in Folkestone, Kent, early yesterday morning in connection with Mr Suddards' death, and last night was arrested in connection with Mrs Yates's death.

"Following close liaison with Avon and Somerset Police, detectives have formally linked the murder of Mrs Yates to the murder of the Reverend John Suddards in south Gloucestershire," a West Mercia Police spokesman said.

West Mercia Police later said a 47-year-old man had been arrested in Kent and was being transferred into the custody of Avon and Somerset Police.

A man was arrested on 2 February by police investigating Mrs Yates's death, but he was later released on bail.

Fifty-nine-year-old Mr Suddards' body was found by builders on a planned job.