Police hunting the killer of Joanna Yeates have found no evidence she was sexually assaulted but said they were unable to rule out a sexual motive to her murder.
Detectives also appealed for help in tracing a 4×4 vehicle seen near to where her snow-covered body was discovered on Christmas Day as they revealed they still do not know when and where the 25-year-old landscape architect died.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, from Avon and Somerset police, said: “At this stage there is no evidence to suggest that Joanna was sexually assaulted. However, I have not ruled out that there might have been a sexual motive.”
Appealing for help in finding the 4×4, he said: “We have had a number of reports of vehicles in Longwood Lane during the late Friday evening and early hours of Saturday morning, including a possibly light-coloured 4×4 vehicle.
“This 4×4 and the other vehicles may be completely unconnected but I urge anyone in that car or any other driver in the vicinity that night to come forward,” he said.
Speaking during a press conference, he revealed that there were still significant gaps regarding Miss Yeates’s final hours.
DCI Jones added: “I am satisfied that Jo got back to her flat but I’m not able to speculate whether she let somebody into the flat, whether somebody was already in there or whether someone broke into the flat.
“At this time I cannot say where or when Jo was killed, or when her body was left on Longwood Lane.
“The significant snowfall in the early hours of Saturday December 18 has a considerable impact on this and I am working with numerous forensic specialists to determine the timings.”
DCI Jones also raised the possibility of there being more than one person responsible when he told the press conference: “I can assure you, we are determined to solve this crime, and bring Jo’s killers to justice.”