Police Wednesday began digging up the garden’ at the Kent home of a police officer in connection with the diasppearane of a 33-year-old woman in London
Married father-of-two, Wayne Couzens, 48, a ten year veteran of the Met Police Dept. was arrested over the disappearance of Sarah Everard in Clapham a week ago
Marketing executive Sarah, 33, had ‘vanished after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London at around 9pm on Wednesday, March 3. She was heading back home to Brixton
A 39-year-old woman from Couzens’ home was also held for questioning on suspicion of assisting an offender
The pair are detained at a London police station
Officers of the London Metropolitan police in the UK, are currently digging up the garden of the serving police officer arrested Tuesday night over a missing woman. Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, was being held Wednesday by colleagues in London in connection with the week-long missing persons investigation into the fate of 33-year-old Sarah Everard. The marketing executive was last seen on March 3 around Clapham Common.
Former auto Mechanic Wayne Couzens is a ten-year veteran of law enforcement. The Westminster-based diplomatic protection officer, has not been involved in the search operation himself and was detained just before midnight last night at his home in Deal, Kent. Another woman, was also arrested at their property, which is near to a woodland where police are currently scouring for Ms Everard.
Police began digging up the couple’s garden as their black Seat sedan was taken away on lowloader.
Marketing executive Sarah, 33, had ‘vanished after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London at around 9pm on Wednesday, March 3. She was heading back home to Brixton.
Prior to Tuesday night officers and volunteers had been focusing their efforts on searching grasses and ponds on Clapham Common. But the focus switched last night as investigative teams traveled 80 miles away to Kent to execute the arrest warrant.
A stunned family member said: ‘It’s shocking and very upsetting. We were not expecting a development like this and it’s difficult to make sense of it.
‘I found out that a police officer had been arrested through the media last night. I spoke to my brother straight away and he was as shocked as me. The whole family is and all our friends. I spoke to him again this morning and we are waiting for an update from the police.
‘The police are doing everything they can and we are grateful to them. We are expecting an update from them later today. I could never have imagined that the investigation could have taken such an unexpected twist.’
Sarah Everard, 33, ‘vanished after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London on Wednesday night
Investigations so far have revealed that Sarah went missing after visiting a friend’s house and speaking to her boyfriend Josh Lowth on the phone. The journey to her Brixton home, should have been no more than 50 minutes.
Police were able to trace her last known position after scouring CCTV around Clapham Common. She went off the radar after being seen on Poynders Road,, shortly after 9.30pm on March 3
Detectives and volunteers have been searching buildings in the area for clues, by late Tuesday night met police arrested Police constable Wayne Couzen at his Deal home over the disappearance.
PC Couzens, 48, a married father-of-two was being held today by colleagues in the Metropolitan Police in connection with the investigation.
The search of his home and various wasteland areas near the house continued Wednesday.
Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave this morning refused to say what the officer had been arrested on suspicion of, in a departure from usual arrest details disclosed by police forces.
But he did say outside Scotland Yard: ‘Our inquiries suggest that this officer was not on duty at the time of Sarah’s disappearance.’
Com. Ephgrave would not say if the suspect was known to Everard, but the cop, arrested in Kent in connection with the missing woman today remained in custody at a London police station. A woman arrested at the home, on suspicion of assisting an offender, also remains in custody at a London police station.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin said: ‘This is a significant development in our inquiry. This is a fast moving investigation and we are doing everything we can to find Sarah.
‘We have seen an overwhelming response from the public and I repeat my request for anyone with information that may be relevant to come forward, no matter how insignificant it may seem.”Shocking and disturbing.’
‘We will continue to work with all speed on this investigation but the fact that the arrested man is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing.
‘I understand there will be significant public concern but it is essential that the investigative team are given the time and space to continue their work.’
Everard vanished after leaving a friend’s home in Leathwaite Road, Clapham to walk home to Brixton at around 9pm last Wednesday. She was last seen wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue trousers with a white diamond pattern and turquoise and orange trainers. It is also believed she was wearing green earphones and a white beanie hat.
Footage from a doorbell camera last captured images of Everard as she walked along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm. On Tuesday night police sealed off a block of apartments as they began a forensic investigation close to where she was last seen. Members of a police forensics team were seen looking through hedges and garbage along the street in search of clues that could aid them in their search.
Two new images of the missing woman were reeased with Met Police tweeting: ‘Were you driving in the Poynders Road area after 9.30pm on Wednesday 3rd March?
‘PLEASE check and double check your dash and door cams for footage.’
The search continued after it was revealed Miss Everard spent a quarter of an hour on the phone making plans to see her boyfriend Josh Lowth the following day, before her mobile was either switched off or ran out of battery.
Lowth whose LinkedIn says he is Marketing Director at MA Exhibitions, later raised the alarm to police when she failed to meet him as she had arranged, her aunt confirmed.
Lowth shared a Facebook post appealing for anyone who knows where Miss Everand is to get in touch with police.
He wrote: ‘Sarah is still missing. Please share this post to help us to find her. Today, more than ever, we miss our strong, beautiful friend.’
Everard was last seen on CCTV at around 9.30pm last Wednesday. Investigators believe she walked across Clapham Common towards her home in Brixton, and was last seen on CCTV in Poynders Road before disappearing. Officers are searching outside homes in Brixton on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old is understood to have left her friend’s house through a back gate onto the A205 South Circular at around 9pm on March 3. She then began walking to her home address in Brixton, and should have returned home 50 minutes later.
Her father Jeremy, 67, a professor of electronics at York University, and mother Sue, 64, a charity worker, are understood to have travelled to London from their home in York. They are being helped in the search by her sister Katie and brother James.
In a statement, the family said: ‘With every day that goes by we are getting more worried about Sarah.
‘She is always in regular contact with us and with her friends and it is totally out of character for her to disappear like this.
‘We long to see her and want nothing more than for her to be found safe and well.
‘We are so grateful to the police and all our friends for all they are doing.
‘We are desperate for news and if anyone knows anything about what has happened to her, we would urge you to please come forward and speak to the police. No piece of information is too insignificant.’
Ahead of the arrests on Tuesday, Goodwin, who is leading the investigation, said there was no information to suggest Ms Everard had ‘come to any harm’.
She added: ‘We’ve released two new images of Sarah as we continue to search for her.
‘Please take a look at them and consider if you saw her on the night she went missing. I am interested in hearing from people who may have been in the area from 9.30pm onward.
‘I want to remain clear that at this time we have no information to suggest that Sarah has come to any harm and we retain an open mind as to the circumstances.
‘We share the wish of her family and friends to have her back safely with her loved ones.’
Police said they had received more than 120 tips from the public and visited 750 homes as part of their investigation into Everard’s disappearance.
In a statement, Sarah’s family said: ”We are desperate for news and if anyone knows anything about what has happened to her, we would urge you to please come forward and speak to the police. No piece of information is too insignificant.’
Goodwin added: ‘We have seized a number of CCTV recordings but we know that there are likely to be many more out there.
‘Please, even if you’re not sure, check your doorbell or CCTV footage just in case it holds a clue.
‘I’m also asking delivery drivers or anyone with dashcam footage who would have been in the Poynders Road area at approximately 9.30pm on Wednesday to come forward.’
The investigation is being treated as a missing person’s enquiry, but due to its complex nature it is being led by the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.