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Sarah Everard: Body of missing woman found in woodland near London, police confirm

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Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard   -   Copyright  Metropolitan Police
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British police on Friday confirmed that the body found two days ago in woodland in Kent is that of Sarah Everard.

"I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard," Nick Ephgrabe, the Metropolitan Police's Assistant Commissioner said.

"Clearly, Sarah's family have been updated with this most distressing news, and I just want to pause for a moment and say that my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire organisation remain with her and with them this awful time," he added.

Everard, 33, went missing late on March 3 as she was walking home from a friend's apartment in South London.

A 40-year-old serving police officer was arrested on Tuesday evening on suspicion of kidnap and murder in relation with her disappearance.

Her family described her as "bright and beautiful" in a statement released on Thursday evening as they awaited formal identification following the discovery of human remain in woodland in kent the previous day.

"She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives," they added, urging anyone with information to come forward.

Police have arrested two people. The serving police officer remains in custody but a woman in her 30s, suspected of having assisted him and arrested at the same time has been released on bail to return to the police in mid-April.

Ephgrabe also told reporters on Friday that the "investigation continues at a pace, and we have hundreds of officers working around the clock to establish the full circumstances of Sarah's disappearance and her murder".

The case has prompted an outpouring of shock with many women sharing experiences of feeling unsafe. It has also led to renewed scrutiny of the Metropolitan Police.

Organisers of a vigil planned for Saturday to commemorate Everard and named "Reclaim These Streets" have accused the police of trying to stop the socially distant event from going ahead and have taken their case to the High Court.

"I know that the public feel deeply hurt and angry and I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say that we too are horrified," Ephgrabe also said.

"I understand that women in London and the wider public, particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing, will be worried and may well be feeling frightened,

"Londoners are likely to continue to see extra officers on the streets in the coming days," he went on.