Sarah Everard’s heartbroken family say 'our kind and beautiful daughter was taken from us' after body found

THE family of Sarah Everard today paid tribute to their 'bright and beautiful daughter and sister' after human remains were found in an investigation into her disappearance.

Cops launched a frantic investigation for the 33-year-old after she vanished while walking home from Clapham last week – arresting officer Wayne Couzens on Tuesday night on suspicion of kidnap and murder.

🔵 Follow our live blog for the latest developments on the case of missing Sarah Everard

The heartbreaking discovery of human remains were made yesterday near Ashford in Kent.

Officers are working to confirm the identity of the remains and have warned it may take 'significant time'.

Met PC Wayne Couzens was today found collapsed in his cell after suffering serious head wounds.

The 48-year-old was taken to hospital with a police guard mounted at the hospital following the shocking incident at Wandsworth police station, South West London.

In a statement, Sarah's family said: "Our beautiful daughter Sarah was taken from us and we are appealing for any information that will help to solve this terrible crime.

"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.

It comes as…

  • Suspect Wayne Couzens was taken to hospital with head injuries
  • Police were last night investigating whether Wayne Couzens used his warrant card to entice Sarah into a car
  • CCTV from a London bus is thought to have helped police in their investigation
  • Sarah's family said she would never have taken a lift from a stranger
  • Human remains were found in woodland in Kent last night as part of the investigation
  • Detectives have reportedly found no link between Sarah and Couzens
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and deeply saddened" by the case
  • Libby Squire's mum urged the public to offer help if they saw a vulnerable woman in the street
  • All men should have a 6pm curfew to make women feel safer, a Green Party peer said

"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."

The Telegraph today reported that it was CCTV footage from buses that could have led to a development in the case.

Sarah Everard had been spotted by a doorbell camera on the A205 Poynders Road in Clapham as she walked home – which is a busy bus route.

And in a tragic development in the case, Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick last night said human remains had been found in woods — but did not confirm that they belonged to marketing executive Sarah, 33.

It comes after detectives this week arrested Couzens, 48, on suspicion of kidnap and murder.

Cops swooped on Couzens' home in Deal, Kent, on Tuesday night – a week after Sarah disappeared – bundling the diplomatic protection officer into a car.

Cops moved in on married dad-of-two PC Couzens after a car linked to him was allegedly spotted on a motorist’s dashcam near to where Sarah was last seen on the night of Wednesday, March 3.

But police do not believe PC Couzens had ever met Sarah previously.

Sources told The Times that while detectives were searching social media messages, they had so far not found a link between Couzens and Everard.

The source said there was "so far there is no evidence" of a link but added: "You can’t be 100 per cent certain at this stage but so far it is a leading line of inquiry that Sarah didn’t know whoever attacked her.”

Last night Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said she was "utterly appalled" that an officer had been arrested over Sarah's disappearance as she confirmed human remains had been found in woodlands in Ashford, Kent.

The site where officers found the remains is 30 miles from the Deal home where Couzens was arrested.

The marksman, whose role involves guarding politicians and protecting events attended by senior royals, is believed to have worked a shift in South London that day.

His Ukraine-born wife Elena, 38, who works as a laboratory manager, has also been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

A source said last night: “The working hypothesis is that he saw Sarah on the street for the first time and kidnapped her.

“At this stage it is thought the officer used his warrant card to entice Sarah towards his car.

“One theory is that he may have used the Covid lockdown as a pretext to engage with her and then snatched her.”

PC Couzens is attached to the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP) unit normally based at the Palace of Westminster.

Detectives probing Sarah’s ­suspected murder searched his locker yesterday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and deeply saddened by the developments in the Sarah Everard investigation”, adding “we must work fast to find all the answers to this horrifying crime”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel added: "I am deeply saddened by the developments in the Sarah Everard investigation. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Sarah, her family and friends at this unbearable time.

"Many women have shared their stories and concerns online since Sarah’s disappearance last week. These are so powerful because each and every woman can relate.

"Every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets without fear of harassment or violence.

"At this deeply sad and tragic time as we think and pray for Sarah and her family, I will continue through my role to do all I can to protect women and girls from violence and harassment."

Sarah had been walking from a friend's house on Wednesday last week – heading back to her Brixton home.

However, she vanished that night – with police launching a desperate hunt for the 33-year-old.

Following the arrest of the police officer, the Metropolitan Police has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.


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