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Joanna Yeates

Vincent Tabak
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The hunt is on

A Christmas murder hunt captured the imagination of the British press who were eager to help find her killer. The police needed their help. They were baffled because important items such as her coat, boots, keys, purse and mobile had all been found within the flat. Forensics had also revealed there was no sign of a struggle or forced entry. This led the police to believe that the killer could be known to Joanna. They again appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Joanna’s landlord Chris Jefferies was reported to have told police he saw three people, including Joanna, leave her flat on the night she vanished. On 30 December he was the first man to be arrested on suspicion of murder. The British press believed he was the killer and began a campaign to vilify him. His silver Chrysler car was taken by the police as part of their investigation. This appeared to verify his guilt. On New Years Eve the police were given more time to question him. But on New Years Day, he was released on bail. It took the police until 4 March to finally release Jefferies from police bail without charge.

Searching for clues, or any leads, the police noticed similarities between Joanna’s murder and the murder of Glenis Carruthers in 1974. She was strangled after leaving a party in Clifton. But they found nothing to link the cases together.
Finally on 5 January the police released news that they were trying to locate a grey sock missing from Joanna’s body. They still believed that the sock and pizza could hold vital clues in solving the case.
Already reaching out to the public via the internet using Facebook and YouTube, the police turned to BBC’s Crimewatch on 18 January to help solve the case. A month since her death, Joanna’s final footsteps were being retraced by an actress. Events of the previous day had seen Joanna’s parents make an emotional appeal for “armchair detectives” to come forward with any information.