All men in Bristol should be DNA-tested, says MP

Sarah Morrison
Monday 10 January 2011 01:00

DNA samples from every man in Bristol should be screened as police continue to hunt for the murderer of Joanna Yeates, one of the city's MPs has urged.

Most men would understand why they were being asked, said Kerry McCarthy, the Labour MP for Bristol East. She added that DNA testing had proved critical in other murder cases.

"Rather than taking DNA just from men in the Clifton area [where Ms Yeates was abducted], where the population is somewhat transient, the operation should be widened to include the whole of the city," she added. However, the former Labour junior whip conceded: "Quite how the police would organise this I don't know."

Ms Yeates, 25, was last seen alive on 17 December. Her frozen, snow-covered body was found at the roadside by dog walkers on Christmas Day.

Avon and Somerset Police previously used mass DNA screening in the 1995 investigation into the disappearance of 18-year-old Louise Smith. Officers collected 4,500 DNA samples from local men.

Ms Smith's killer, student David Frost, later pleaded guilty to her murder after his DNA sample – taken in South Africa – matched a sample found on the victim's body. Frost, then 21, was jailed for life in February 1998.

A reconstruction of the events leading to Ms Yeates's murder will soon be broadcast on the BBC1 programme Crimewatch.