Detectives have been granted more time to continue questioning Joanna Yeates’s landlord on suspicion of her murder.
Chris Jefferies, 65, was arrested on Thursday morning and a magistrate has granted Avon and Somerset Police an extension to hold him beyond 7pm.
The development came after officers spent the day talking to Peter Stanley, 56, a neighbour of the retired public school teacher in Clifton, Bristol, who said he and Mr Jefferies helped start Miss Yeates’s boyfriend’s car the day she vanished.
A force spokesman said: “Police have today, Friday December 31, been granted more time to question a 65-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of murder on Thursday December 30, by magistrates.”
Mr Stanley recalled how he and Mr Jefferies used jump leads to start Greg Reardon’s car, sending him on his way to Sheffield.
“It was a non-event at the time, but absolutely poignant now – what if we didn’t get the car to start?” said Mr Stanley.
Hours after they started the car, Miss Yeates, a landscape architect, disappeared and her snow-covered body was discovered more than a week later on Christmas Day.
Mr Stanley, who lives in a flat in the mansion to the right of Mr Jefferies’ in Canynge Road, Clifton, is being treated by police as a witness, they confirmed.
Mr Jefferies, who sports distinctive straggly white hair and was described by a neighbour as a “nutty professor type”, was arrested at 7am on Thursday. Police have refused to clarify how long the new custody extension lasts for.
The bachelor was taken into custody just 24 hours after he claimed he saw three people leaving Miss Yeates’s flat on the night she vanished – December 17.