1 Jan 2011

Joanna Yeates family: ‘killer will be caught’

The family of murdered Bristol architect Joanna Yeates have said their lives stopped the moment they knew she was missing – but they are confident her killer will be caught.

The family of Joanna Yeates, whose body was found on Christmas day after a week-long search, have said their daughter has been “stolen” from them but that they were confident the killer would be caught.

In a statement read out by Detective Constable Emma Davies by the Bristol riverside – one of Miss Yeates’ favourite spots – they said their lives had stopped as soon as they knew she was missing.

“We had a ‘bad feeling’ from that moment, which deepened when we arrived in Bristol.

“Our lives stopped from the time that we knew Jo was missing.

“So far, the worst time was during the first week, wondering whether Jo would be found.

“Was she alive or dead, and what happened to her? We dreaded going to our graves without knowing.

“In a very strange way, Jo’s body being found was a relief.

“Although some questions have been answered, some remain.”

Bristol murder: Joanna Yeates and Greg Reardon.

The statement went on: “We gain a little solace from the fact that the high point in Jo’s life was her graduation in November, when her life was ‘perfect’.

“Our grief and sadness includes the experiences which she missed out on, in terms of family and children and rising through her profession.
“For us, we will always miss the presences which came with her: hearing her voice, her lightness, and standing back with pride, watching her grow through life.

“Our thoughts and emotions at this time are solely with Jo.”

They currently had “little feeling” for anything else going on, they added.

Her boyfriend Greg Reardon also issued a statement in which he declared he would always love her but criticised the media’s “character assassination” of “as yet innocent men”.

Mr Reardon also said: “The memory of Jo will always be with me as I look across the harbour and remember our unforgettable and special times together.”

Landlord still being questioned

Detectives continue to question Chris Jefferies, 65, the landlord of Joanna Yeates arrested in connection with her murder.

Mr Jefferies was arrested on Thursday at his flat above the basement property he rented to Joanna and her boyfriend Greg.

His arrest came just 24 hours after he had claimed seeing three people leave Miss Yeates’ flat in Canynge Road, in the Clifton area of Bristol, on 17 December, the night she vanished.