LONDON >> A body found this week in a wooded area in southeast England has been identified as Sarah Everard’s, police said today, ending days of uncertainty over the fate of the 33-year-old marketing executive who disappeared in South London last week.
Her disappearance touched off an outpouring of solidarity and anger against gender violence in Britain.
“Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave has sadly confirmed the body found in the woodland in Kent has been identified as Sarah Everard,” the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.”
A police officer was arrested this week in Kent, 80 miles southeast of London, and is being held in custody on suspicion of kidnapping, murder and, in a separate incident, indecent exposure.
Everard left a friend’s house in the Clapham neighborhood around 9 p.m. March 3, and she was last seen on a CCTV camera at 9.30 p.m. in a residential area. The journey home should have taken her around 50 minutes.
The remains of a body were discovered in Kent by police on Wednesday, dimming hopes that Everard would be found alive.
“Sarah was bright and beautiful — a wonderful daughter and sister,” her family said Thursday. “She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable,” they added, describing her as “a shining example to us all.”
Everard’s disappearance prompted thousands of women this week to share their experiences of assault, harassment in public spaces and walking the streets in fear.
Although authorities said this week that abductions in London were rare, Mayor Sadiq Khan acknowledged today that the British capital’s streets were not safe enough.
Jesse Phillips, a Labour lawmaker, said in an annual debate organized for International Women’s Day in Parliament on Thursday that men killing women was accepted as part of daily life.
“Dead women is just one of those things,” Phillips said before reading the names of women who were killed over the past year in which a man was convicted or charged in the case. “Killed women are not vanishing rare, killed women are common.”