Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Police move to reassure women over Joanna Yeates killer hunt

Joanna Yeates's body was found on Christmas morning by a couple walking their dogs

Police investigating the murder of the landscape architect Joanna Yeates yesterday advised women to take steps to ensure their safety while insisting that there was no “specific intelligence” that her killer may strike again.

Officers said the murderer of Ms Yeates, whose body was found on Christmas Day, remained on the loose, but cautioned that women need only take “usual precautions” while out and about and in their homes in Clifton, the Bristol neighbourhood where the 25-year-old lived with her boyfriend.

Chris Jefferies (65), the former public school teacher who was Ms Yeates' landlord, was released on police bail on Saturday night following his arrest on suspicion of murder 48 hours earlier. He went to stay with a friend rather than return to his home above the flat he rented to Ms Yeates.

Both properties have been intensively searched by forensic specialists in recent days.

As the investigation into her disappearance and murder entered its third week, police said they had stepped up patrols around Clifton to reassure the public.

Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford said: “Whoever killed Jo remains at large. However, I want to reassure the public that there remains no specific intelligence or information to suggest there is an increased threat to their safety.”

Women were advised to avoid walking home alone after dark and to take care when answering the door to strangers.

Police said efforts to catch the killer were “very much ongoing”, and renewed their appeal for witnesses who drove along the country lane where her body was found.

Mr Stratford added: “Jo's killer is still out there somewhere and we will find them and bring them to justice. We know Jo was murdered. At the moment we don't know who killed her but we are determined to find out.”

Ms Yeates disappeared on December 17 after she had spent the evening in a pub with work colleagues. CCTV images showed her visiting two supermarkets and an off-licence on her way home.

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