Police have confirmed that the remains found in Kent woodland during the search for Sarah Everard are those of the marketing executive, who disappeared as she walked home in south London last Wednesday.
The grim update was announced by Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave outside New Scotland Yard this afternoon, who said: “I can now confirm that is is the body of Sarah Everard. Clearly Sarah’s family have been updated with this most distressing news and I just want to pause for a moment to say my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire organisation remain with her.
A private ambulance arrives at the woodland area near Ashford in Kent where human remains were found during the murder investigation after the disappearance of Sarah Everard. Officers in attendance removed their caps giving their upmost respect while the ambulance was in attendance
“As you know, on Wednesday evening detectives investigating the disappearance of Sarah Everard discovered a body secreted in woodland near Ashford in Kent. The body has now been recovered and the formal identification procedure has now been undertaken.
“Specialist officers remain in constant contact with Sarah’s family, and will continue to support them throughout the investigation and beyond.
Aerial view of the back garden of the home in Deal, Kent, of policeman Wayne Couzens
“That investigation continues at a pace and we have hundreds of officers working round the clock to establish the full circumstances of Sarah’s disappearance, and her murder.”
The Met is to be investigated by the police watchdog over its handling of an allegation of indecent exposure against the officer suspected of murdering Sarah Everard and also over the injuries he sustained in custody. Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, was arrested on suspicion of the murder and kidnap of Sarah Everard, 33, who went missing last week after walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham.
PC Wayne Couzens
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into the handling of the case and will examine how officers responded to a report that Couzens had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in south London on February 20th just three days before Sarah vanished.
Referrals to the IOPC concern and focus on the arrest of a serving officer on suspicion of kidnap and murder, the Met’s reaction and action after Ms Everard was reported missing, and the injury of the suspect while in police custody. Couzens was taken to hospital on Thursday suffering from head injuries that occurred in his cell while he was left alone.
He was then treated and discharged and returned to the police station where he is being held following an application being granted at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court to extend his incarceration for continued questioning.
Organisers who planned a vigil for Sarah Everard are now going to the High Court to contest the police position that gatherings due to the current covid directive would be “unlawful”.
Police at the woodland area near Ashford in Kent where human remains were found
The Reclaim These Streets organisation said they were told by the Metropolitan Police the event would not be allowed to take place as planned on Clapham Common on Saturday. Sister events were also planned in Cambridge, Leeds, Cardiff, Liverpool and St Andrews.
Josh Lowth, Sarah’s boyfriend, who spoke on the phone to her for about 15 minutes before she disappeared
Sarah Everard was last seen on March 3rd in Clapham, south London. Doorcam CCTV footage showed Sarah walking home along the A205 Poynder Road towards Tulse Hill at 9.30pm. Police said it was unclear whether or not she reached her home in Brixton.