Lithuanian Antanas Jankauskas, 38, has appeared in court this morning accused of killing Sarah Ashwell Joice, 47, who was found murdered at her cottage in Wells in Somerset on Sunday, November 7th.
Jankauskas, of Wookey, which is less than two miles away from Wells, was remanded in custody to next appear at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday charged with murder.
At Taunton Magistrates’ Court court today he spoke only to confirm his name, address and age.
His Facebook page suggests that Jankauskas and Sarah at some time may been in a relationship, because on May 25 he posted that he was ‘In a relationship,’ but kept his status as ‘Single,’ which prompted Sarah Ashwell Joice to comment: “Best you get your status correct!”
His profile also shows he is from Lithuania and says he lives in Wells, Somerset – Wookey is two miles from Wells.
It also shows he posted on June 7: “Don’t go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me.”
Three other men arrested over the murder have now been released under investigation, with one of them recalled to prison over other matters.
A fifth man arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has also been released under investigation.
Sarah’s family released this statement: “We are absolutely devastated by what has happened to Sarah, who we all loved so very much. Nothing can prepare you for such terrible news and we are utterly heartbroken.
“We are incredibly touched by the many kind and loving tributes that have been posted on social media by friends and loved ones in the last few days. It is a comfort for us to be reminded how well loved she was and that so many people had such affection for her.”
Detective Superintendent Gary Haskins said: “This is a large-scale investigation involving over 100 officers and staff from across our service.
“The picture we have built up is of a mother, daughter and friend who was well-known and well-loved and whose loss is deeply felt. Our thoughts are with her loved ones.
“We’re grateful for the support of the community in coming forward with information, but it’s important to say that our work to get justice for Sarah and answers for her family is far from over. I’d ask people to continue to support our investigation in any way they can.”
Avon and Somerset Police have made a mandatory formal referral to the IOPC due to recent police contact with Sarah.
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