Sarah Everard's family pay tribute to 'beautiful daughter and sister'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry

Sarah Everard's family have paid tribute to their "beautiful daughter and sister", and urged anyone with information to help police with their ongoing investigation.

The 33-year-old marketing executive was last seen on Wednesday March 3 walking from a friend's house near Clapham Common back to her home in Brixton, south London.

A serving Metropolitan Police officer in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of murder and kidnap. While formal identification has yet to take place, police confirmed they have found human remains.

CCTV of Sarah Everard on the night of her disappearance Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

In a statement, Ms Everard's family said: “Our beautiful daughter Sarah was taken from us and we are appealing for any information that will help to solve this terrible crime.

“Sarah was bright and beautiful - a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.

  • ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry explains latest developments in Sarah Everard case

“We would like to thank our friends and family for all their support during this awful time and we would especially like to thank Sarah’s friends who are working tirelessly to help.

“We are so grateful to the police and would like to thank them for all they are doing. We are now pleading for additional help from the public.

A forensic officer in a garage next to a house in Freemens Way in Deal Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

“Please come forward and speak to the police if you have any information. No piece of information is too insignificant. Thank you.”

The diplomatic protection police officer arrested in connection with Ms Everard's death was taken to hospital for a head injury he sustained while in police custody on Wednesday.

He has since been treated for his wounds and returned to a police station, the Metropolitan police confirmed.

Commissioner Cressida Dick confirms human remains found in search for Sarah Everard

"The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment to a head injury sustained while in custody," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"He has since been discharged and returned to custody. We are not prepared to discuss further."

He remains in custody at a London police station after an application to extend his detention was granted at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court, Scotland Yard said.

A woman aged in her 30s, who was arrested at the same time on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April.

The police watchdog has launched an independent investigation into whether the Metropolitan Police "responded appropriately" to an allegation of indecent exposure made against the suspect held in connection to Ms Everard's death.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation followed a conduct referral from the Metropolitan Police in relation to two officers, received on Wednesday.

The watchdog said the referral was linked to another four, "all connected to the arrest of a serving MPS officer on suspicion of kidnap, murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure".

Durham University, where Ms Everard attended as a student, said its" thoughts are with family and friends of Sarah" and that it has contacted the Metropolitan Police to offer assistance, if required.

Ms Everard's secondary school, Fulford School, also spoke of their sadness on hearing of her disappearance.

"Sarah was a vibrant, caring and much valued member of our school community," they said in a statement.

"She left Fulford School in 2005. She is still lovingly remembered by those who taught and knew her.

"Her joy, intelligence and positive spirit shone within the school. She was a lovely pupil and friend."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he's "shocked and deeply saddened" by developments in the investigation, adding: "We must work fast to find all the answers to this horrifying crime.

A police search at an address believed to be the suspect’s home in Freemen's Way in Deal, Kent saw a tent erected outside and multiple cars were taken away by investigators.

Later, a metal fence was put up surrounding the front garden and driveway.

Home Secretary Priti Patel reacted to developments in the investigation by releasing a statement saying "every woman should feel safe to walk our streets without fear of harassment or violence."

"At this deeply sad and tragic time as we think and pray for Sarah and her family, I will continue through my role to do all I can to protect women and girls from violence and harassment," she added.

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner paid tribute to Sarah and said it's now the time to "challenge some of the problems that women still face".

Ms Everard is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton – a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes.

She was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm.

The case has been referred to watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct because 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 actions of police after Ms Everard was reported missing.

Organisers of a vigil for Ms Everard are seeking legal action after claiming the Metropolitan Police reversed their position on allowing the event to go ahead.

A Reclaim The Night vigil on Clapham Common was due to be held on Saturday but organisers claim the Metropolitan Police have reversed their decision to allow the event to go ahead.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told ITV News a final decision had not yet been made, but reiterated Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings during lockdown.