A £50,000 reward has been offered for finding Joanna Yeates’ killer, on the three-week anniversary of her disappearance.
The Sun newspaper is offering the five-figure sum in a bid to generate a breakthrough in a case that appears to have baffled detectives.
Miss Yeates’s snow-covered body was found on Christmas Day, a week after the 25-year-old landscape architect disappeared following a night out with work colleagues in Bristol.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the murder hunt, said: “I am sure Jo’s family will be touched by this kind gesture. It demonstrates the level to which the murder has touched the nation – and the commitment of the media in supporting our efforts to bring whoever is responsible to justice.”
He added: “I’m sure someone out there has that vital piece of information we need to catch Jo’s killer. I would again urge anyone with any information whatsoever to come forward and help us find the answers that both ourselves and Jo’s family want and need.”
Posters went up on Thursday night outside the Bristol Ram pub, where Jo had her Christmas drinks, and also along her route home. Another was placed outside the Tesco Express store in Clifton village, where she bought a pizza on her way, no trace of which has been found. A poster has also been placed outside her flat in Canynge Road.
Uniformed police officers were also seen checking an old rifle range in the grounds of Clifton College, which is next door to Miss Yeates’ basement property.
In another development, her landlord Chris Jefferies – who was arrested suspicion of her murder before being released a few days later – is reportedly considering suing police for wrongful arrest. One of Mr Jefferies’ friends told reporters: “He said, ‘The ordeal is almost over’. He is preparing a case. This has completely shattered his life.”
Officers are investigating whether Miss Yeates could have been strangled with her own ski sock – which her killer might then have kept as a trophy.
Her body was found missing one of her grey, knee-length socks, and detectives believe the garment may hold the key to solving her murder. She was not wearing her coat or boots either but those items were recovered from her flat.