Jo Yeates: Family statements in full
- 1 January 2011
- From the section UK
The family and boyfriend of murdered Bristol landscape architect Jo Yeates have paid tribute to the 25-year-old.
The following statement was issued by Miss Yeates's family:
"From the moment that we received Greg's phone call on Sunday December 19 until now, time has had no meaning.
"We had a 'bad feeling' from that moment, which deepened when we arrived in Bristol.
"Our lives stopped from the time that we knew Jo was missing.
"So far, the worst time was during the first week, wondering whether Jo would be found.
"Was she alive or dead, and what happened to her? We dreaded going to our graves without knowing.
"In a very strange way, Jo's body being found was a relief. Although some questions have been answered, some remain.
"For us it was surprisingly easy to see Jo but there was a deep sadness. It meant we could welcome her back.
"Due to the circumstances, it will probably be some time before Jo can come home.
"We gain a little solace from the fact that the high point in Jo's life was her graduation in November when her life was 'perfect'.
"Our grief and sadness includes the experiences which she missed out on, in terms of family and children, and rising through her profession.
"For us, we will always miss the presence which came with her; hearing her voice, her lightness, and standing back with pride, watching her grow through life.
"Our thoughts and emotions at this time are solely with Jo. We really have little feeling for other things which may be happening. We have no doubt that this will change in the future.
"We have been overawed by the amount of support and practical help from people in Bristol - and especially her close friends Emma and Becky.
"We would also like to thank Jo's relatives and friends who set up facilities on websites, which generated an overwhelming level of response.
"We would like to thank everyone personally, but that would be impossible, so please take this as personal thank you to everyone.
"We have received many cards and letters of sympathy. They have all been read.
"They have come from all over, many from people that we have never met. All of them moved us, especially a card in which the sender had written a simple four-line poem.
"In time we will endeavour to reply to those we can. We have found the police most considerate in the way we have been treated and kept informed as events have unfolded.
"We continue to give them our full support and help where we can. We are certain that Jo's killer will be caught.
"Jo was taken from us. The method has only intensified our grief. She was a beautiful and talented young lady who was destined to fly high.
"Her life was stolen from her and she was stolen from us."
Miss Yeates's boyfriend, Greg Reardon, issued the following statement:
"Jo loved it by Bristol's harbourside and found great joy in the local rowing club and evenings out overlooking the water.
"The memory of Jo will always be with me as I look across the harbour and remember our unforgettable and special times together.
"Jo was a beautiful woman, beautiful in mind, body and soul. She had a great career ahead of her as a landscape architect and would have achieved a great many more things in her life if only she was given the chance.
"I will always love her.
"My never-ending thanks go out to those who showed so much love for Jo in the events following her disappearance and, after dropping everything, from all corners of the country took to the streets of Bristol to campaign for her to be found safe and well.
"Sadly this wasn't the outcome we had all hoped for but we all, Jo's dear friends and family, now celebrate the life of one of the most lovely and genuine people to grace this Earth.
"Many people have approached us wishing to make a donation to charity in Joanna's memory.
"If you feel you'd like to give something back in Jo's name, I have set up a donation web page - www.justgiving.com/joannayeates.
"This will allow you to show support and appreciation for the Missing People charity that were so helpful in the campaign to find Jo following her disappearance.
"Missing People help reunite broken families with loved ones who run away or are snatched from the arms of those dearest by tragedy or social problems.
"Missing People offer a lifeline for the 250,000 people who run away and go missing each year.
"For those left behind, they search and provide specialised support to end the heartache and confusion at such difficult times.
"Jo's life was cut short tragically but the finger-pointing and character assassination by social and news media of as yet innocent men has been shameful.
"It has made me lose a lot of faith in the morality of the British press and those that spend their time fixed to the internet in this modern age.
"I hope in the future they will show a more sensitive and impartial view to those involved in such heart-breaking events and especially in the lead-up to potentially high profile court cases.
"I hope you all have a happy new year. We look out into 2011 with a fresh approach to life in Jo's memory and hope that, for her sake, justice is found swiftly."