A body believed to be that of the missing teenager Jayden Parkinson has been found buried in a churchyard grave. Thames Valley Police said what are thought to be the 17-year-old's remains were discovered in a recently-disturbed grave site in the cemetery of All Saints'Church, Didcot, Oxfordshire, just days after launching a murder investigation.
Her ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, 22, appeared in court earlier this week charged with her killing. A formal identification of the body has yet to take place, but the girl's family has been informed and is being supported by specialist officers. In a statement the force said:
– Thames Valley Police statement
"Thames Valley Police can confirm that we have found a body in a recently disturbed grave in the cemetery of All Saints Church, Didcot. The body is believed to be that of missing teenager Jayden Parkinson.
A formal identification has yet to take place. Officers and forensic scientists will continue to work at the cemetery throughout the night and into the next day.
Jayden's family has been informed and is being supported by specially trained officers. Our thoughts are with them at this extremely difficult and distressing time."
The discovery comes after an inquiry team of more than 100 officers and detectives, backed by specialists from the National Crime Agency, spent much of the past week carrying out intensive forensic searches at several sites in and around Didcot and the nearby village of Upton in a bid to find missing girl.
On Tuesday, the man leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray, said police had received "significant and highly relevant information" which led police to focus their efforts on a specific grave in the churchyard.
Throughout today a meticulous and careful search has been carried out at thesite of the grave. The teenager, who had recently moved to Oxford, was last seen leaving Didcot railway station at 4.27pm on December 3. Police said they had had "no indication" she was still alive, revealing Jayden had not used her mobile phone or accessed her bank account in the days since she had been reported missing.