The serving police officer arrested in the disappearance of a woman in south London was not on duty when he went missing last week, Scotland Yard said.
A senior official has expressed hope that Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who disappeared after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham around 9 p.m. last Wednesday, is still safe and sound.
“This is a serious and significant advance in our search for Sarah and the fact that the man who has been arrested is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing. I recognize the great concern this will cause, ”said Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave.
Metropolitan police announced Tuesday night that they had arrested one of their own. Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Ephgrave said: “It is really important that the investigative team have the space and time to find Sarah and they are working at full speed to do so.”
He added: “Last night, officers arrested a Metropolitan Police officer on duty at an address in Kent in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard. This man was taken into custody and remains in custody at a London police station.
“Our investigations suggest that this officer was not on duty at the time of Sarah’s disappearance.
“At the same time and in the same place, a woman was also arrested on suspicion of helping a criminal. She was also arrested and remains like that in a London police station as I speak. “
Ephgrave thanked those who had come forward and renewed his call for more information, saying that anything the police could find out was important.
“As the father of four young women, I can only imagine the anguish that Sarah’s family is feeling at this very, very difficult time and my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire organization are with them now,” he said.
Everard’s last known sighting was on Poynders Road, where she was captured on film by a private door camera as she walked alone from the Cavendish Road junction in the direction of Tulse Hill, south of Brixton.
On Tuesday, two officers with search dogs were seen searching outside the nearby Oaklands Estate and surrounding streetside gardens. The day before, officers were examining a small park near where Everard’s mobile phone signal was last recorded.
Timeline of key events
Wednesday March 3: Sarah Everard, 33, a marketing executive, goes missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, South London, around 9pm
6th of March: Metropolitan police raised the alarm and said it was “totally out of line” that Everard was not in contact with family and friends. Police released a CCTV image of her, saying she was thought to have walked Clapham Common after leaving her friend’s apartment, heading home to Brixton, a journey of around 50 minutes.
7 of March: Police release images taken by a doorbell-type private camera showing Everard walking alone on the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill, south of Brixton. Police say it is unclear whether or not he made it to his home. She was last seen wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue pants with a white diamond pattern, and turquoise and orange sneakers, and is believed to have been wearing green headphones and a white beanie. Scotland Yard says the investigation is being led by its Crime Specialist Command due to the “complex nature” of the investigation, combining searches with house-to-house investigations.
March 8: Scotland Yard says it remains “open-minded as to all possibilities”, while confirming a missing persons investigation. Specialist officers are recruited from across the Met. Police say they have received more than 120 calls from the public about the case and are asking anyone who may have a dash cam or other relevant images to come forward.
March 9: Police use dogs to search gardens on the streets around the search site near the planned route to Everard’s home and on the nearby Oaklands Estate. Officers also search a pond on Clapham Common and drains along the A205. The Met establishes a cordon around the Poynders Court housing complex on Poynders Road as part of the search, and forensic officers are seen examining the area.
11:59 PM, March 9: The Met says it arrested a police officer at an address in Kent in connection with Everard’s disappearance, with a woman arrested at the same location on suspicion of helping a criminal. The man and the woman are arrested. DCI Katherine Goodwin says the force is still “doing everything it can to find Sarah.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism