Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Joanna 'left flat with two people'

Chris Jefferies, landlord of murder victim Joanna Yeates, outside her flat in Clifton, Bristol
A message left with flowers outside the home of murdered architect Joanna Yeates in Bristol
Detectives were investigating whether murder victim Joanna Yeates was seen leaving her flat with two people on the night she disappeared

Detectives probing the murder of Joanna Yeates are investigating claims she was seen leaving her flat on the night of her disappearance with two other people.

The landlord of the Victorian block of flats where the 25-year-old lived has told detectives he saw three people, one of whom he believes was the landscape architect, leaving her property.

Chris Jefferies, 65, spotted the trio shortly after 9pm on December 17, not long after Miss Yeates arrived home alone, as he parked his car in the street.

The pensioner, who lives above the flat Miss Yeates shared with her boyfriend Greg Reardon, reported the sighting to police and they confirmed they are examining the evidence.

Speaking outside his home in Canynge Road, in the Clifton area of Bristol, Mr Jefferies yesterday denied he had told police he saw Miss Yeates leaving with two unidentified people.

"It is a serious distortion of what I said to the police and I have no further comment to make as that, no doubt, will be distorted," he said.

Earlier, he told Sky News: "I made some comment which was very, very, very much vaguer than that. Anything that I have said I have said to the police and I'm not prepared to make any comments to the media. I definitely cannot say that I saw Joanna Yeates that evening. No."

Neighbours confirmed that Mr Jefferies had told them that he saw three people leaving from the building's communal entrance on the night Miss Yeates disappeared.

The mystery surrounding Miss Yeates' death deepened as it was revealed she bought two bottles of cider from an off-licence after leaving the Ram pub in Bristol city centre.

Police released new CCTV showing Miss Yeates calling in at a Bargain Booze store - close to the Tesco Express where she bought the pizza - as she walked home. The footage, which shows her smiling as she entered the off-licence, was revealed as Crimestoppers announced it is offering a £10,000 reward for information which helps catch her killer.

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