Jo Yeates' body missing a sock when found, say police

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Media captionDet Ch Insp Phil Jones: "When Jo was found... she was only wearing one sock"

Detectives investigating the murder of Jo Yeates have said her body was missing a sock when it was found near Bristol.

Miss Yeates' body was found on Christmas Day in a lane in Failand, eight days after she was reported missing from her home three miles away.

The sock is described as a long grey ski-style sock and is size five.

Police still do not know where or when she died and crime scene investigators remain at her Clifton flat.

Senior investigating officer for Avon and Somerset Police, Det Ch Insp Phil Jones, said they had viewed CCTV footage from the Hophouse pub in Clifton, images from which have been published in a newspaper, at an early stage in the inquiry.

He said he could not confirm that it showed Miss Yeates as the quality of the film was very poor. But he said that if it was her then it could be the last known sighting.

'Complex investigation'

He said they had circulated the CCTV film from the Tesco Express store she visited on the night she was last seen as it was a good image of her and was corroborated by a receipt found at her flat.

Mr Jones said: "I would emphasise that this is a complex investigation and it is being meticulously investigated."

He said that although Miss Yeates was fully clothed when she was found on Christmas Day morning, she was not wearing her jacket or her boots and was only wearing one sock.

Her jacket and boots were found at her home in Canynge Road.

Mr Jones continued: "That would indicate that Jo had returned home. However, at this present time the sock has not been found. It hasn't been found at Longwood Lane and it hasn't been found at her home address."

Earlier on Wednesday a similar-looking sock was handed to police by a member of the public outside Miss Yeates' flat, but was later discounted by police.

Post-mortem test results revealed Miss Yeates had been strangled.

Mr Jones said he was "keeping an open mind" about whether Miss Yeates had been strangled with the sock or whether her killer or killers could be keeping it as some kind of trophy.

Image caption The body of Jo Yeates was found near Bristol on Christmas Day

He said: "The sock could be in possession of the offender. The sock could be in a house or the sock could be in a vehicle."

Police have said there was no evidence that Miss Yeates, a landscape architect who was originally from Hampshire, was sexually assaulted but they have not ruled out a sexual motive.

The force has also appealed for sightings of a 4x4 seen near where her body was found. Mr Jones said a couple of 4x4 drivers who had been in the area at the time her body was found had come forward but he asked for others, who may have been driving in the area, to contact the police.

He also confirmed that whoever was responsible for her death may have tried to put her body over the wall into the quarry at Longwood Lane in Failand but instead left her on the verge.

Miss Yeates was last seen at about 2000 GMT on 17 December after she had been drinking with colleagues in the Bristol Ram pub in Park Street in the city.

She visited three shops on the way home and was filmed on CCTV.

She bought a pizza in Tesco Express in Clifton - the receipt was discovered in her flat but no evidence of the pizza or the packaging has been found.

Her landlord, Chris Jefferies, 65, who was arrested on suspicion of her murder, has been freed on bail.

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