Landlord bailed in Joanna probe


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

A 65-year-old man arrested over the murder of Joanna Yeates has been released on bail, police said.

Chris Jefferies, Miss Yeates’s landlord, was being questioned by officers on suspicion of killing the landscape architect, whose snow-covered body was found on Christmas Day.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: “A 65-year-old man has been released on police bail pending further inquires.” Meanwhile, police said the investigation into the 25-year-old’s death was continuing.

Det Ch Insp Phil Jones said: “The incident room has been inundated with thousands of calls from members of the public who have provided us with information. This information is being scrutinised and followed up by specially trained officers who are exhausting every lead and avenue that we are provided with. I would once again urge anyone who may not have called us to make contact with one of my officers and provide us with any information you may have. You may think your information is insignificant but please let us decide. This will be treated in confidence.”

Detectives are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have used Longwood Lane in Failand, Bristol, between December 17, when Miss Yeates went missing, and Christmas Day, when her body was discovered there.

In a direct appeal to members of the public, DCI Jones said: “Did you see anyone or any vehicle acting suspiciously in the area? We also know that there were large Christmas functions taking place at Long Ashton golf club, Bristol and Clifton golf club and Redwood Lodge. I would again urge taxi drivers and those who drove to functions to call us. They may have information that could prove vital.”

Mr Jefferies, who lives above the Victorian flat Miss Yeates shared with her boyfriend Greg Reardon in Bristol’s up-market Clifton area, was arrested on Thursday and held until Saturday after police were granted more time to question him. The property, on Canynge Road, lies about three miles from where the young woman’s body was found. Forensic investigations continue there and a high police presence remains in the neighbourhood.

The landlord’s release came after Miss Yeates’s family earlier said they were “certain” her killer would be caught.

Her grieving parents David, 63, Theresa, 58, and brother Chris said their lives had stopped as soon as she went missing.

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

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