UK > Violence > Kidnapping
added 26 December 2010
pictured with her cat Bernard
2 March 2015
kidnap / abduction / false imprisonment
be reported missing
Missing Persons Bureau
Tia Sharp disappearance timeline
in the disappearance
of 12-year-old London schoolgirl Tia Sharp
Joanna Yeates's body found,
Death of Bristol architect treated as suspicious
after her body was found Christmas morning
three miles from her home
Sunday 26 December 2010
This article was published on guardian.co.uk
at 12.01 GMT
on Sunday 26 December
A version appeared in the Guardian
on Monday 27 December 2010.
It was last modified at 15.01 GMT
on Sunday 26 December 2010.
Police have confirmed that a woman's body found at a roadside
verge near Bristol yesterday was that of the missing landscape architect Joanna
Yeates. Officers said they were treating the death as "suspicious" and continued
to search the area where the body was found, three miles from Yeates's flat in
Clifton. A postmortem is taking place today but the results are not expected to
be known until tomorrow because of the freezing conditions in which the body was
An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said: "While a formal identification
procedure is yet to be completed, police are satisfied that the body is that of
25-year-old landscape architect Joanna Yeates, who went missing during the
weekend before Christmas."
Yeates had not been seen or heard from following an evening out with colleagues
in Bristol. Her boyfriend Greg Reardon, 27, reported her missing two days later
after returning home to their flat from a weekend visiting his family in
Sheffield, to find her keys, telephone, handbag and coat but no sign of Yeates.
The police spokesman said: "A postmortem examination has been taking place in
Bristol today. However, because of the extreme freezing conditions in which
Joanna's body was found, it is unlikely that any findings from this will be
known until tomorrow (Monday) at the earliest."
"Officers are, however, treating Joanna's death as suspicious at this stage but
will not be able to discuss this further until the results of the postmortem are
known. The police are once again appealing for information, in particular to
help fill in the gap between Joanna's disappearance and the discovery of her
A couple walking their dogs found the body on Longwood Lane in Failand, three
miles west of Yeates's flat. The spokesman added: "Officers are keen to hear
from people who may have seen anything or anyone acting suspiciously over the
past week in the Longwood Lane area.
"Police are expected to be continuing their fingertip search in the Longwood
Lane area throughout today and possibly longer." Chief Superintendent Jon
Stratford said: "Our heartfelt condolences go out to Joanna's family for their
loss. We have not stopped working hard throughout the Christmas period to find
their daughter after she was reported missing."
"Now we will work just as hard to discover exactly what happened to her and how
she came to be in Longwood Lane on Christmas morning.
"Until the postmortem examination is able to firmly establish how Joanna died,
we are keeping an open mind about the cause of her death. However, I would
appeal to anyone with any information whatsoever that can help this
investigation to please come forward and help us provide Joanna's parents with
the answers they so desperately want and need."
Her family and Reardon made emotional appeals for information about her, but
came to believe she had been abducted.
Yeates was last seen leaving the Ram pub in Park Street, near Bristol city
centre, at about 8pm on 17 December. She shopped in Waitrose on the way where
she was caught on CCTV and then rang her best friend to arrange to meet on
She then went on to the Tesco Express on Regent Street, a quarter of a mile from
her flat on Canynge Road, Clifton. Officers released footage of her buying a
pizza in the supermarket.
There was no trace of the pizza, the wrapping or the box in the flat even
though other personal items, including her mobile phone, were inside.
When her body was found it was clothed and covered in snow. A white tent was set
up on the spot close to the Bristol City FC training ground. A pathologist
attended to examine the body before it was moved as darkness fell.
Police immediately informed Yeates's family that a body had been found. Her
father David, 63, said yesterday he and his family were "just waiting now for
the police to tell us what we suspect".
"Of course, we don't know for sure that it's her, but we assume that it is," Mr
Yeates said. "Nobody else has been reported missing and it's the body of a young
girl close to where Jo disappeared.
"It hasn't been a Christmas for us. I don't know what it's been. It's been
surreal, totally unreal."
Yeates said that if the body found was his daughter's, he "would be relieved" as
her family assumed that she was dead. "We don't want to go to our graves
wondering where she is and not being given the chance to say goodbye to her," he
said. "We assume that she's dead so we'd like to say goodbye
our lives have
Mr Yeates also said he had assumed that she had been abducted because of the
state the flat was found in. Thirty detectives have been working on the
investigation and are being assisted by another 40 staff, including uniformed
officers, forensic experts and search teams.
The search also triggered an unprecedented campaign using social networks.
Colleagues and friends set up a website dedicated to looking for her and invited
people to download posters to print and put on display.
Anyone who can help the investigation can call the Operation Braid incident
room on 0845 456 7000 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Joanna Yeates's body
found, police confirm, G, 26.12.2010,
Joanna Yeates disappearance
generates massive hunt on
Networking sites used to spread pictures and appeals
in bid to find answers to
missing architect's whereabouts
Saturday 25 December 2010
This article was published on guardian.co.uk
at 20.59 GMT on Saturday 25
The search for Joanna Yeates triggered an unprecedented
campaign using social networks. Colleagues and friends of the 25-year-old set up
a website dedicated to looking for her.
Users could download posters of the landscape architect to print and put up in
windows, watch CCTV footage of Ms Yeates as she left Tesco Express after buying
a pizza on the night of her disappearance, and sign up to a Twitter campaign.
Users of Facebook were also asked to replace their own profile picture with one
of Ms Yeates. In the picture she is seen holding the black-and-white cat Bernard
that she and her boyfriend Greg Reardon bought last year.
Her best friend, Rebecca Scott, spoke to her as she made her way home from a
Bristol pub on Friday, 17 December she was the last known person to talk to
her. "We are desperate to find her," Ms Scott told reporters. "This is totally
out of character for Jo."
Ms Yeates studied landscape design and horticulture at Writtle Agricultural
College, Essex, before taking a master's degree at Winchester University.
Earlier this month she celebrated the second anniversary of her relationship
with Mr Reardon, who is 27 and a fellow landscape architect.
The couple recently moved in together and shared a one-bedroom rented Clifton
flat where last Sunday Mr Reardon discovered her handbag, keys, mobile phone
and coat but no sign of his girlfriend. He had spent the weekend with his family
in Sheffield and was expecting to find her at their flat. Police were alerted
48 hours after she had last been seen by friends.
On the Friday in question, Ms Yeates had spent the early evening with colleagues
from the Building Design Partnership, for which she worked, at the Ram pub in
Park Street, near the city centre. She left at 8pm and shortly afterwards phoned
Ms Scott. The pair arranged to meet for Christmas Eve drinks. Then Ms Yeates
stopped at Tesco Express in Clifton village where she bought a pizza. The
receipt was found in the flat, but there was no sign of the pizza or its
packaging. Later Chief Inspector Gareth Bevan, of Avon and Somerset police, was
photographed holding a Tesco Finest tomato, mozzarella and basil pesto pizza,
like the one bought by Ms Yeates. "Does anyone know where this is?" he asked the
Last Thursday, Ms Yeates's parents issued a harrowing appeal for information
about their daughter. "I have got to believe that she's alive. If the
if it turns out she isn't, I still want her back. I still want to
hold her one last time," David Yeates told reporters. He also appealed to any
abductor. "If you have, if she is dead, then please tell somebody where she is."
Teresa Yeates said: "I sometimes picture her, if she had for some reason
collapsed or been discarded and if she was alive in all the snow and the cold. I
just can't bear the thought of it."
Mr Reardon said: "She was my future. This Christmas was going to be our first
together. We were going to head up to Scotland for New Year's Eve. She was
really looking forward to Christmas. We had put up a tree." On the weekend of
her disappearance, Ms Yeates had been planning to bake for a party that the
couple would have held last Tuesday.
Her brother Chris handed out leaflets and put up posters around Bristol in the
hope of someone coming forward with new information. On Friday he said the
family was "in complete despair".
Ms Yeates was also remembered during midnight mass at Christ Church in Clifton
and on Christmas Eve churchgoers across Bristol prayed for her safe return.
Tonight the website (
www.helpfindjo.wordpress.com ) set up for Jo Yeates carried a link to the
story of the discovery of a woman's body and stressed that there had been no
confirmation of the identity of the woman. "This will be a terrible day, no
matter who the young lady is," it concludes. "Please save a thought for those
who will not be having a merry Christmas."
Joanna Yeates disappearance generates
massive hunt on Facebook,
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