Family share grief at Joanna murder


Joanna Yeates's body was found on Christmas morning by a couple walking their dogs

The family of murdered Joanna Yeates have expressed their grief over her death and said they were certain her killer would be brought to justice.

As detectives continued their investigation, the landscape architect’s grieving parents and brother said their lives stopped as soon as she went missing.

Miss Yeates’s snow-covered body was found by dog walkers in Failand, North Somerset, on Christmas Day. The 25-year-old, who disappeared from her flat in the Clifton area of Bristol on December 17, had been strangled.

Her landlord, Chris Jefferies, 65, who was arrested on Thursday over the death, remains in custody. He lives above the Victorian flat Miss Yeates shared with her boyfriend in Canynge Road, Clifton.

In an emotional statement read out by police beside Bristol harbour – one of Miss Yeates’s cherished spots – her parents and brother said: “From the moment that we received Greg’s phone call on Sunday December 19 until now, time has had no meaning.

“We had a bad feeling from that moment, which deepened when we arrived in Bristol.”

David Yeates, 63, his wife Theresa, 58, and their son Chris said Joanna had been “stolen” from them but they had found the police “most considerate” and had been kept informed of developments in the investigation.

“We continue to give them our full support and help where we can,” they said. “We are certain that Jo’s killer will be caught. Jo was taken from us. The method has only intensified our grief.”

Miss Yeates’s boyfriend, Greg Reardon, issued a similarly moving statement, declaring he would always love her. The 27-year-old described his girlfriend as a “beautiful woman, beautiful in mind, body and soul”.

But he also attacked the press coverage of the case, criticising the media’s “character assassination” of what he described as “as yet innocent men”.

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