Detectives are investigating whether murder victim Joanna Yeates was seen leaving her flat with two people on the night she disappeared.
Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they were talking to Miss Yeates’s landlord, who reportedly saw her leaving the flat in Clifton, Bristol, with two people.
Chris Jefferies, 65, reportedly saw three people leaving her property on December 17 shortly after 9pm – not long after Miss Yeates, 25, arrived home alone – as he parked his car in Canynge Road.
Speaking outside his home, Mr Jefferies denied he had told police he saw Miss Yeates leaving with two unidentified people, saying: “It is a serious distortion of what I said to the police and I have no further comment to make as that, no doubt, will be distorted.”
Earlier, he told Sky News: “I made some comment which was very, very, very much vaguer than that. Anything that I have said I have said to the police and I’m not prepared to make any comments to the media. I definitely cannot say that I saw Joanna Yeates that evening. No.”
Neighbour Liz Lowman, who lives on the opposite side of the road from Miss Yeates’s flat with her husband Ray, said Mr Jefferies told her the three people were coming out of a communal entrance to the mansion house.
Officers investigating Miss Yeates’s death are continuing a forensic search of her home, and are also still working in Longwood Lane in Failand, North Somerset, where her body was found on Christmas Day. Earlier on Wednesday police took away the front door of Miss Yeates’s flat for forensic examination.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the investigation, said: “I am very pleased with the response to our appeals from the press conference yesterday (Tuesday). “There are a number of lines of inquiry we are following up.
“One of these concerns apparent reports that several people were seen or heard in or around Joanna’s flat on the night of her disappearance. Clearly this is something we are following up.”
Police also released CCTV footage of Miss Yeates buying drink from an off-licence on the night she disappeared. In the short clip, the 25-year-old is seen entering Bargain Booze on Bristol’s Regent Street before purchasing some cider.