Bristol

Jo Yeates murder hunt police ask for patience

Jo Yeates
Image caption The body of Jo Yeates was found near Bristol on Christmas Day

Police investigating the murder of Jo Yeates have asked for patience, saying it "will take time" to find her killer.

The 25-year-old's body was discovered on Christmas Day in a lane near Bristol eight days after she was last seen.

Ch Supt Jon Stratford said: "It will take time and we ask people to be patient. But rest assured we'll find the person who killed Jo."

Officers spent much of Thursday morning searching the content of drains close to Miss Yeates' flat in Clifton.

A force spokesman said the move was a routine part of the investigation.

Officers also searched Clifton College's rifle range, at the back of Miss Yeates' flat on Thursday.

Detectives still do not know where or when Miss Yeates died and forensic examinations are continuing at the flat she shared with her boyfriend Greg Reardon in Canynge Road.

Mr Stratford said: "This is a large investigation. We've got well over 70 officers and police staff dedicated to it.

"There's lots and lots of lines of inquiry, lots of leads which all need to be followed.

"The investigation team are meticulously following every single one."

Last week, Crimestoppers offered a £10,000 reward for information.

On Thursday the charity said it had been able to hand "valuable information" to the police.

'Real anxiety'

Miss Yeates, a landscape architect originally from Hampshire, was last seen on 17 December after she had been drinking with colleagues in the Bristol Ram pub in Park Street in the city.

Image caption Detectives spent much of Thursday morning searching drains in Canynge Road

She was reported missing by Mr Reardon two days later.

Her snow-covered body was found on Christmas Day morning on a lane in Failand three miles from her home.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had been strangled.

Miss Yeates' body was clothed but she was not wearing her jacket or her boots and she was only wearing one sock.

Her jacket and boots were found at her home but the sock is still missing.

They said there was no evidence that Miss Yeates was sexually assaulted but they had not ruled out a sexual motive.

Her landlord, Chris Jefferies, 65, who was arrested on suspicion of her murder, has been freed on bail.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Bristol, the Right Reverend Mike Hill, has said people in the city have been badly affected by Miss Yeates' death.

He said: "I think if I were a young woman, I would have a real anxiety about those moments between your car and your front door."

A University of Bristol spokesman urged students returning for the start of term next week to collect the free personal safety alarms that are offered by the institution.

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