Human remains that were found by police in an area of woodland in Kent is that of Sarah Everard Scotland Yard has confirmed.
Ms Everard, 33, vanished while walking home from a friend’s house in south London on 3 March.
A serving Metropolitan Police officer remains in custody having been arrested on suspicion of her kidnap and murder.
Speaking to reporters outside Scotland Yard today (12 March), Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said the body found in woodland Ashford, in Kent, was that of the missing woman.
He said: “As you know, on Wednesday evening detectives investigating the disappearance of Sarah Everard discovered a body secreted in woodland in Kent.
“The body has now been recovered and formal identification procedure has now been undertaken.
“I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard.”
Mr Ephgrave said that Ms Everard’s family had been told this “most distressing news” and confirmed that the police officer accused of her murder remains in custody.
He added that his “thoughts and prayers, and those of the entire organisation” remain with Sarah Everard’s family “at this awful time”, stating: “Specialist officers remain in constant contact with Sarah’s family, and will continue to support them throughout the investigation and beyond.
“That investigation continues at a pace and we have hundreds of officers working round the clock to establish the full circumstances of Sarah’s disappearance, and her murder.”
‘Bright and beautiful’
On Thursday night, Ms Everard’s family released a statement describing her as a “shining example to us all”, and said she had “brought so much joy to our lives”.
They 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.
“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.”
Ms Everard’s family also thanked the police and pleaded for people with further information to come forward, stating that “no piece of information is too insignificant”.
Concerns for women’s safety
The murder of Ms Everard has prompted an outpouring of anger and shock, with women across the UK sharing their own experiences of feeling unsafe on the streets.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan admitted the capital’s streets are not safe for women or girls when speaking to LBC on Thursday (11 March), while Home Secretary Priti Patel said “every woman should feel safe to walk our streets without fear of harassment or violence”.
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.