Joanna Yeates’s killer could have entered and left her flat without being seen by any of her neighbours, official documents reveal.
The only way into the murdered landscape architect’s apartment in Bristol is through a private front door down a side path.
Detectives have established that Miss Yeates returned home on the night she disappeared exactly a month ago, but they are still investigating how her body came to be dumped in a country lane three miles away.
Her coat, boots, mobile phone and keys were found in the flat, but no trace has been found of a Tesco pizza she bought on her way home.
Miss Yeates, 25, lived with her boyfriend, Greg Reardon, 27, in a sunken ground-floor apartment in a large converted Victorian house at 44 Canynge Road, Clifton.
A floorplan obtained from the Land Registry shows the young couple’s flat is self-contained, with its own front door on the right of the building, and has a simple layout with three main rooms off the entrance hall.
The living room looks out on the front lawn and the single bedroom at the rear has a view of the house’s back garden. The small kitchen – where Miss Yeates may have cooked the pizza – opens on to the living room and has a window looking out on the path running along the right side of the house.
There is a communal entrance at the front of 44 Canynge Road for most of the other flats, but a second ground-floor apartment also has its own front door at the rear of the property. Miss Yeates and Mr Reardon rented the flat from Chris Jefferies, 65, a retired English teacher at nearby Clifton College, who was arrested on suspicion of the murder before being released on bail.
Plans of the house were submitted to Bristol City Council for planning permission when it was split into flats in the late 1980s, and Avon and Somerset Police murder detectives have obtained a copy of the documents as part of their investigation.
Miss Yeates went missing on the night of December 17 after leaving friends in the Ram pub in Park Street, Bristol. Her body was found on Christmas morning by a couple walking their dogs in Longwood Lane in Failand, North Somerset.