The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick tonight said:
I want to start by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with Sarah Everard’s family and her friends at this very difficult and painful time.
As you are aware, a man has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
This evening detectives and search teams investigating Sarah’s disappearance have very sadly discovered what we believe at this stage to be human remains.
The discovery was made in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent.
As you can imagine, at this early stage we are not able to confirm any identity and indeed this may take us some time.
Specialist officers have been with Sarah’s family to update them on the investigation and to continue to support them as best we possibly can.
The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s murder has sent waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met.
I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news. Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.
The investigation is large, fast moving and very determined. We have hundreds of officers and staff who have been working around the clock.
Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare.
I know Londoners will want to know that it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets.
But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.
You should expect to see continued high levels of police patrols in that area as well as very significant investigative activity.
Please report any concerns you may have to us.
We have been so impressed, and thankful for the public support for the investigation and for sharing our appeals for information and of course we are deeply grateful to the many people who have come forward to assist us.
Again my thoughts are with Sarah, her family and her loved ones