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David and Theresa Yeates ask for public help to solve the murder of their daughter Joanna
THEIR faces are etched with more than three weeks of grief and their eyes tell the story of every parent’s worst nightmare.
Pale and worn, they are a family whose lives have been torn apart and are desperate for answers as to who killed their daughter and dumped her body on a snow-covered roadside, to be found on Christmas morning.
But today brave Theresa and David Yeates found the strength to make one more plea for help in finding whoever strangled 25-year-old Jo.
Supported by their son Chris and Jo’s boyfriend, Greg Reardon, 27, they were quick to point out how they feel very much part of the mammoth hunt to find the murderer and get justice for their daughter.
And they urged people who may have suspicions about what happened to the landscape architect not to prolong their torment – and come forward and speak to detectives.
But it was eight days later when walkers made the grim discovery of Jo’s body at the edge of a road, minus one ski sock and her coat and boots.
The couple said: “We spend much of our time – as I imagine most of the country does – thinking of scenarios which took Jo, alive in her flat, to being found dead by the side of a country lane. These scenarios change as events unfold, and new facts are made available.
All our thoughts are passed back to the police. Although we invariably do not have all the facts known by the police, we do know Jo. We know what Jo would do, and how she would react in different situations. This, we believe, is our major contribution.”
The couple said they were aware that almost the entire country had been moved by the tragedy of Jo’s murder and the discovery of her body just a few miles from the flat where she lived with Greg in the Clifton area of Bristol.
They added: “For over three weeks there has been extensive media coverage of Jo’s disappearance and murder.
The last few weeks have encompassed an extensive festive period.
Many people will have probably been socialising and spending extra time with family and friends.
“Many of us are ‘armchair detectives’, but if this activity triggers anything please come forward. If you do know something and you do not come forward, you are hampering the apprehension of Jo’s killer(s) and the perpetrator(s) is still free.
“You will also be prolonging the torment of Jo’s family and friends.”
Appealing for help, David, a 63-yearold IT consultant, and Theresa, 58, who works in Waitrose, asked:
■ Do you know anyone that hasn’t been shocked or disturbed?
■ Has anyone you know had an unusual or inexplicable reaction?
■ Was their behaviour unusual on the weekend of 17/18/19th December, or throughout the past three weeks?
■ Do you know someone who has been behaving out of character either by actions, or what is said – or not said?
■ Do you know someone who has inexplicably become reclusive, quiet or vocal?
■ Has someone tried to impress on you a scenario which has been inconsistent with the information released by the police at that time – and refused to change it?
They added: “It would appear that the nation is shocked and appalled by what has happened to our daughter. Do you know someone who has been, somehow, justifying her being killed?