Bristol

Jo Yeates murder has left brother in 'hole of despair'

The Yeates family, with Jo Yeates second right, on her 18th birthday
Image caption Chris Yeates, second left, pictured with Jo and his parents, said she was a "personal inspiration"

The brother of murdered landscape architect Jo Yeates has told how her death has created a "surreal hole of despair" in his life.

Chris Yeates described his sister as a "personal inspiration" and said he was confident police would find her killer.

The 28-year-old said: "All my memories of Jo are positive and I've etched these into my mind."

The body of Miss Yeates, 25, was found in a lane near Bristol on Christmas Day, a week after she disappeared.

Post-mortem tests revealed she had been strangled.

Mr Yeates said the discovery of his younger sister's body had given him "an acceptance of the situation" but not closure.

In a statement, he said: "I got to say a final emotional goodbye to Jo and the despair I had was replaced with a wave of deep sadness.

"The last couple of weeks I have been spending time with my partner and her son, comforting each other and trying to get our heads around what has happened whilst supporting my parents as much as possible.

"The tremendous amount of support we have had from family, friends and the general public has been truly overwhelming and brings a sense of slight elation at an otherwise tragic time."

'Darkest of souls'

His partner Alla Ritch described Miss Yeates as a "perfect beacon of light and a great example to us all to live every day to our fullest potential".

She added: "It seems that only the darkest of all souls could literally put her bright light out like this.

"Nothing in the world is going to change what happened to Jo, but I hope that whoever is responsible will be stopped from doing any more harm to innocent people."

Miss Yeates was last seen alive on 17 December. She spent the evening in the Bristol Ram pub with colleagues before visiting a supermarket to buy a pizza on her way home to the Clifton area of Bristol.

Her boyfriend Greg Reardon reported her missing on 19 December after he returned from a weekend away.

Her snow-covered body was found in Longwood Lane, Failand, by dog walkers.

On Saturday, Miss Yeates' parents, David and Theresa Yeates, from Ampfield, near Romsey in Hampshire, said their lives had been "changed for ever" the day she disappeared.

A book of condolence has been opened at Christ Church Clifton, close to the flat in Canynge Road that Miss Yeates shared with Mr Reardon.

On Saturday afternoon, players from Bristol City Football Club warmed up ahead of their match with Sheffield Wednesday wearing shirts showing Miss Yeates' picture and a police contact number.

A £10,000 reward has been offered through Crimestoppers for information leading to a conviction and The Sun newspaper has added its own £50,000 reward.

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