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Caroline Everest death: Man arrested on suspicion of rape

Published 25/11/2015

Police at Napier Street, Sheffield, after a body believed to be that of missing university student Caroline Everest was found in a river
Police at Napier Street, Sheffield, after a body believed to be that of missing university student Caroline Everest was found in a river

Police investigating the "unexplained" death of 18-year-old student Caroline Everest have arrested a man on suspicion of rape.

Sheffield Hallam University student Miss Everest was reported missing after leaving a Sheffield nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning and her body was found in a river in the city on Tuesday.

South Yorkshire Police said they have arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of rape and he remains in custody.

A spokesman said a post-mortem examination on Miss Everest's body has not determined the cause of her death.

Detective Chief Inspector Victoria Short said: "At this time, we are treating Caroline's death as unexplained.

"There have been a number of developments throughout the late evening and overnight as part of this complex investigation.

"A post-mortem examination was completed, however the cause of death was not established and the results were recorded as inconclusive. Further tests have now been requested."

Ms Short said CCTV footage shows Miss Everest leaving the Corporation nightclub, on Milton Street, at around 2.40am on Sunday.

A minute later, she is seen with a man outside the Devonshire Cat pub, which 50 metres up.

The detective said that at 3.35am, CCTV shows Miss Everest and the man parting company in Napier Street, close to where her body was found in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Ms Short said: " Approximately 10 minutes later, Caroline is seen alone on Summerfield Street, walking in the direction of the river. This is the last we see of her."

She said: " We have carried out extensive inquiries in a bid to identify and locate the man in the earlier CCTV footage. As a result, we arrested a 31-year-old on suspicion of rape. He remains in custody.

"The investigation is ongoing and we continue to review CCTV footage from the information received from the public.

"If you saw Caroline that night, or have any information, I urge you to come forward. Any information, no matter how small, could be vital to piece together her final steps and to provide answers for her family."

On Tuesday, police sealed off a large area around the stretch of the Porter Brook where Miss Everest's body was found.

The river is little more than a stream at this point as it runs through an area of derelict land which was searched by officers.

The spot is about half a mile from the Corporation nightclub and close to Ecclesall Road, where many Sheffield students live.

Summerfield Street, where Miss Everest was last seen on CCTV, crosses the brook at the point where the police search was focussed.

Napier Street, where the police say CCTV shows the student parting with the man, crosses Summerfield Street about 50 metres further south.

Miss Everest's family, who live about four miles away in the north of Sheffield, became concerned when she did not turn up for work or a family dinner on Sunday.

Scores of messages of support have been left on family members' social media pages - and floral tributes have been laid close to where the body was found.

One note read: "RIP Caroline. Such a sweet, lovely girl, you will be missed by so many people. Sleep tight."

Sheffield Hallam University said it was offering support to students and staff following Miss Everest's death.

A spokeswoman said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear that South Yorkshire Police have today found a body that they believe to be Caroline Everest.

"Our thoughts at this time are with Caroline's family and close friends."

Miss Everest's death is the second tragedy to hit the university since the start of the academic year.

In September, 18-year-old biomedical sciences student Abigail Hall was found dead in halls of residence in Shoreham Street in the city in circumstances that were not believed to be suspicious.

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