The father of missing architect Joanna Yeates said he "would be relieved" if the body of a young woman found on a snow-covered verge was her.
The remains were discovered on a country lane on Christmas morning by a couple out walking their dogs three miles from where the 25-year-old was last seen alive eight days ago.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, David Yeates said: "Of course we don't know for sure that it's her but we assume that it is.
"Nobody else has been reported missing and it's the body of a young girl close to where Jo disappeared. It hasn't been a Christmas for us. I don't know what it's been. It's been surreal, totally unreal. We're just waiting now for the police to tell us what we suspect.
"In truth we feel like we hope ... we would be relieved if it was her. We don't want to go to our graves wondering where she is and not being given the chance to say goodbye to her. We assume that she's dead so we'd like to say goodbye ... our lives have gone."
The scene on Longwood Lane, in the Failand area of North Somerset, close to Bristol and Clifton Golf Club, has been sealed off for forensic examination. The body, which has not been formally identified, was clothed and covered in snow.
Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "I can confirm that Joanna Yeates's parents have been informed of this development. They are naturally very, very distressed. Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time."
Mr Stratford said the body was found in the roadside verge at 9am by a couple walking their dogs. A full post-mortem will be carried out on Sunday morning.
The last known sighting of Miss Yeates, known to her friends as Jo, was on CCTV as she bought a pizza at a branch of Tesco Express in the Clifton area of Bristol on the evening of December 17.
The university graduate, who worked as a landscape architect for BDP, was making her way home to the flat she shared with her boyfriend, Greg Reardon. after a night out with work colleagues in Bristol city centre. Mr Reardon, 27, reported her missing on Sunday night after returning home to their flat in Canynge Road, Clifton, from a weekend away in Sheffield visiting family.