British police holding a fellow officer on suspicion of kidnap and murder said on Friday a body discovered in the woods is that of Sarah Everard, a missing woman at the center of a high-profile case that has stoked national anger in the UK.
Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on the evening of March 3.
The case has sent shockwaves through the London force – and the wider public – and triggered a debate about women’s safety.
The latest development came as detectives said they had been given more time to a question a serving member of the Metropolitan Police’s elite diplomatic protection unit in connection with the case.
“The body has now been recovered and a formal identity procedure has taken place. I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard,” Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave told reporters.
Ephgrave said hundreds of officers were “working around the clock to establish the full circumstances of Sarah’s disappearance and her murder.
“A man remains in custody at a London police station on suspicion of committing those crimes,” he added.
The case has sparked widespread anger in the UK, and on Thursday MP Jess Phillips read out the names in parliament of 118 women and girls killed in Britain in the last year.
“Dead women is a thing we’ve all just accepted as part of our daily lives,” said Phillips, reading the names of victims whose killings involve a man charged or convicted.
“Killed women are not vanishingly rare. Killed women are common,” she added.