The Met Police have confirmed that the human remains found in a woodland in Kent are those of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who disappeared on 3 March.
A police officer, whose job it was to guard diplomatic buildings, remains in custody in connection of Everard’s kidnapping and murder.
“I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard. Clearly Sarah’s family have been updated with this most distressing news,” London Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said.
Police investigating her disappearance found a body in woodlands near Ashford in Kent on Wednesday night.
A woman aged in her 30s, who was arrested at the same time on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April.
The disappearance of Everard, who vanished while walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham on 3 May, has met with an outpouring of grief and anger in London and across the UK.
In a statement outside Scotland Yard, Ephgrave added: “I know that the public feel hurt and angry about what has happened, and those are sentiments that I share personally.
“I also recognise the wider concerns that are being raised quite rightly about the safety of women in public spaces in London and also elsewhere in the country.”
Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, said: “It is devastating news for Sarah Everard’s loved ones that the police have identified her body.
“My deepest sympathies – and those of all Londoners – are with them.
“The police investigation continues and I urge anybody with information to contact the Met’s Incident Room on 0208 785 8244, or by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
Police face probe from watchdog
Yesterday it was also announced that the Met was facing a probe from police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over a separate incident involving the arrested officer.
The watchdog will investigate whether officers “responded appropriately” after receiving a report that a man had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in south London on February 28.
The police has also come in for severe criticism after organisers of a vigil in response to Everard’s disappearance said that police had told them the event could not go ahead.
Officers said that the vigil, which is set to happen on Saturday, could not take place due to coronavirus restrictions.
The Met is facing a High Court challenge over its decision.