Sarah Everard: 'Human remains' found in search for missing 33-year-old woman
Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry
Human remains have been found in the search for missing woman Sarah Everard, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said.
The 33-year-old marketing executive was last seen walking from a friends house in Clapham to her home in Brixton on Wednesday March 3.
But a week after Ms Everard's disappearance, Commissioner Dick confirmed remains had been found in a woodland area in Ashford, Kent.
Police are unable to confirm the identity and this could take "some considerable time", she said.
ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry provides update from Deal, Kent after human remains found in Ashford
In a statement, Commissioner Dick said her thoughts were with the family and friends of Ms Everard, and that her disappearance in "awful and wicked circumstances" are every family's nightmare.
Ms Dick added: "The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer who was arrested on suspicion of Sarah's murder has sent shockwaves and anger through the public and through the Met.
"I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say that we are utterly appalled at this dreadful, dreadful news.
"Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.
Commissioner Cressida Dick confirms human remains found in search for Sarah Everard
It comes after a Metropolitan Police officer in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of murder, kidnap in relation to the disappearance of Ms Everard. He was was arrested on a separate allegation of indecent exposure.
Police have confirmed the man is a serving Met officer in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. His primary role was "uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises."
The officer was arrested on Tuesday evening at an address in Kent, along with a woman who has been held on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Mr Ephgrave said: "This is a serious and significant development in our search for Sarah and the fact that the man who has been arrested is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing."
He told reporters that detectives are working "at all speed" to find out what has happened to Ms Everard, and repeated appeals for members of the public to come forward with information.
A woman, aged in her 30s, was also arrested on Tuesday evening on suspicion of assisting an offender. She remains in custody.
Ms Everard is thought to have walked through Clapham Common from a friend's house in Leckwaite Road, on a journey which should have taken her 50 minutes to reach her home in Brixton.
She was last spotted on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm on March 3.
On Tuesday evening, police put up a cordon outside a block of flats near where the footage was recorded.
The search was focused on the Poynders Court housing complex, and forensics officers could be seen examining the area.
Sniffer dogs were also used to search the nearby Oaklands Estate and gardens in surrounding streets, while other officers were lifting covers and searching drains along the A205.
On Wednesday, the search progressed to two locations in Kent - woodland in Ashford and a property in Deal.
A tent was erected outside a house in Freemen's Way in Deal and a car was seen being taken away from the property.
A neighbour said a police officer lives at the address with his "chatty" wife and two children.
She said: "They just seemed like a normal, regular family, there was nothing strange about them at all."
She added police were digging up the garden.
The case has been referred to watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct as it involves a police officer.
A spokesman said it had been decided that the Metropolitan Police would investigate any potential conduct issues linked to the kidnap and murder allegations itself.
The IOPC is currently assessing whether any further action should be taken in relation to the in relation to the actions of police after Ms Everard was reported missing.
Timeline of Sarah Everard’s disappearance in south London
Wednesday, March 3: The 33-year-old marketing executive goes missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, around 9pm.
March 6: Metropolitan Police raise the alarm over Ms Everard’s disappearance, saying it was “totally out of character” for her not to be in contact with family and friends. Police release a CCTV image of her, saying she was thought to have walked through Clapham Common after leaving her friend’s flat, heading towards her home in Brixton, a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes.
March 7: Police release footage taken from a private doorbell-type camera showing Ms Everard was walking alone along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill, just south of Brixton. Police say it is unclear whether or not she reached her house. She was last seen wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue trousers with a white diamond pattern and turquoise and orange trainers, and was thought to have been wearing green earphones and a white beanie hat. Scotland Yard says the investigation is being led by its Specialist Crime Command because of the “complex nature” of the probe, which combines searches with house-to-house inquiries.
March 8: Scotland Yard says it remains “open minded as to all possibilities” over Ms Everard’s disappearance, while confirming a missing persons investigation. Specialist officers are drafted in from across the Metropolitan Police force. Police say they have received more than 120 calls from the public on the case, and ask anyone who may have relevant dashcam or other footage to come forward.
March 9: Police use sniffer dogs to search gardens in streets around the search site near Ms Everard’s envisaged route home and in the nearby Oaklands Estate. Officers also search a pond in Clapham Common and drains along the A205. Police also release fresh images of Ms Everard – wearing the coat in which she disappeared – as they appeal for the public’s help. Later in the day, the Met sets up a cordon around the Poynders Court housing complex on Poynders Road as part of the search, with forensics officers seen examining the area.
11.59pm, March 9: The Met tweets that it has arrested a police officer at an address in Kent in connection with Ms Everard’s disappearance. Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave says the fact the man is a serving police officer “is both shocking and deeply disturbing”. The Met says a woman has also been arrested at the same location on suspicion of assisting an offender. The man and the woman are taken into custody. Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin says the force is still “doing everything we can to find Sarah”.
March 10: Search begins overnight at two locations in Kent - a property in Deal and woodland in Ashford.
8.15pm, March 10: Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick confirms human remains have been found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent. Police are unable to confirm the identity and this could take "some considerable time", she said.