Detectives hunting the killer of Joanna Yeates were last night questioning a man on suspicion of her murder and searching the flat of one of her neighbours.
While police have not named the 32-year-old man who was arrested early yesterday morning, last night forensic science officers were searching the flat of Vincent Tabak, a 32-year-old Dutch engineer who lived in the same block of flats as Ms Yeates.
Scaffolding and a green tarpaulin were erected at the rear of the converted Victorian property on Canynge Road, Bristol, and a screen covered the entrance to the flat where Mr Tabak lives, and the rear of Ms Yeates's home.
The arrest is believed to have taken place at a house in Aberdeen Road, one mile away from the block of flats.
Ms Yeates's father welcomed the latest development, almost five weeks after she disappeared and four weeks after her body was found.
Speaking at the family home in Ampfield, Hampshire, David Yeates (63) said: “We were told at 6am that someone was arrested on suspicion of Jo's murder and their age. Both Teresa and I are very pleased an arrest has been made and the investigation is moving forward.”
Mr Tabak, who works for engineering firm Buro Happold in Bath, lives with his girlfriend, Tanja Morson, in Clifton.
Eindhoven University of Technology confirmed that Mr Tabak, from Veghel in the Netherlands, completed a PhD three or four years ago.
Last night a close university friend said he was shocked Mr Tabak had been linked to the investigation.
Erik Blokhuis (29) added: “Vincent was a colleague of mine for two years and we were quite close. I last heard from him just after New Year's Eve. He sent me an email wishing me all the best on behalf of him and Tanja.
“I considered him a very good friend and still do. We would watch movies together and go to bars often. He is a very sociable person.”
The arrest was the second to be made since Ms Yeates's frozen body was found dumped in Longwood Lane, four miles from her home, on Christmas Day.
Chris Jefferies, Ms Yeates's landlord, was arrested on December 30 and questioned for three days on suspicion of murder before being released on bail.
He has since told friends he expects to be cleared and has denied any involvement with Ms Yeates's death.