The family of Sarah Everard have paid tribute to their ‘bright and beautiful’ daughter and sister – as the police officer accused of her kidnap and murder remains in custody.
The 33-year-old marketing executive was last seen walking home from a friend’s house Clapham on March 3. She was reported missing the following day and a huge search began.
Yesterday Metropolitan Police discovered human remains in Ashford, Kent, as a serving officer arrested in connection with her disappearance was named as Wayne Couzens.
While the remains found in Kent yesterday have not been formally identified, Sarah’s family, including father Jeremy, 67, a professor of electronics at the University of York, and her mother Susan, 63, issued a heartbreaking statement tonight.
It read: ‘Our beautiful daughter Sarah was taken from us and we are appealing for any information that will help to solve this terrible crime.
Sarah Everard vanished on Wednesday, March 3, while walking home from Clapham, yesterday human remains were discovered in Ashford, Kent. Family have remembered the 33-year-old as ‘kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable’
‘Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.
‘She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.
‘We would like to thank our friends and family for all their support during this awful time and we would especially like to thank Sarah’s friends who are working tirelessly to help.
Miss Everard’s family say the marketing executive was ‘strong and principled and a shining example to us all’
‘We are so grateful to the police and would like to thank them for all they are doing. We are now pleading for additional help from the public.
‘Please come forward and speak to the police if you have any information. No piece of information is too insignificant. Thank you.’
Miss Everard’s former head teacher at Fulford School, York, Steve Lewis, told The Times she was a ‘lovely, bright, intelligent girl who shone within the school’.
The Durham University graduate achieved a 2:1 degree and moved to London around 12 years ago to start her marketing career, taking a six-month break to travel South America in 2013.
She had reportedly started a new job, and had supported the Matthew Elvidge Trust, a mental health charity set up in memory of a student who took his own life in 2009.
Her partner, Josh Lowth, 33, also works in marketing.
Pleas from Sarah’s family for information come as suspect Couzens was returned to police custody after suffering ‘serious head injuries,’ and being rushed to hospital on Wednesday night.
MailOnline has pieced together Sarah’s final movements as it was claimed that Couzens was working at the US Embassy on the day she vanished
Scotland Yard confirmed it had secured an application to extend his detention, while a woman in her 30s arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April.
Couzens, 48, was arrested late on Tuesday on suspicion of the kidnap and murder of marketing executive Miss Everard, 33, and indecent exposure to a second unnamed victim.
The Metropolitan Police tonight confirmed an investigation has been launched into whether officers responded ‘appropriately’ to the report of indecent exposure, which was received by Scotland Yard three days before Sarah vanished.
A statement released by Scotland Yard read: ‘Following the arrest of a police officer, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) made two referrals, one mandatory and one voluntary, to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
‘These were linked to the conduct of the officer arrested on suspicion of kidnap, murder and indecent exposure.
Wayne Couzens remains in police custody following his arrest in Deal, Kent on Tuesday night
‘The IOPC has determined both these matters should be locally investigated by the MPS.
‘We also made a mandatory referral in relation to the actions of police after Sarah was reported missing. We await the IOPC’s assessment.
‘A further voluntary referral was made for a conduct matter in relation to the police investigation into the separate allegations of indecent exposure. The IOPC have determined this will be subject to an independent IOPC investigation.
‘We have made another mandatory referral to the IOPC after the man arrested was taken to a hospital for treatment to a head injury sustained while in custody in a cell alone. He was being monitored by CCTV and received immediate first aid. We await the IOPC’s assessment.’
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