UK & World News

  • 19 December 2013, 16:37

Police Believe Body Found In Grave Is Jayden's

Police believe a body found in a grave in Didcot, Oxfordshire, is that of missing 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson.

Thames Valley Police said her family are heartbroken and devastated by the development.

Jaydenwas last seen leaving the town's railway station on December 3.

On Wednesday, the man leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray, said police had received "significant and highly relevant information" which led their search efforts to a specific grave in the churchyard.

At a news conference on Thursday morning he said: "We had prepared Jayden's family for the worst but I'm afraid nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child.

"They remain heartbroken, they remain devastated, and our thoughts are with them at this time.

"It's been a long and difficult night but, as you probably know, we discovered a body in a particular grave in All Saints' Cemetery in Didcot and I believe that body to be Jayden Parkinson, our missing teenager.

"Formal identification has not yet taken place. Jayden's body was removed from the cemetery late last night.

"Our only work in that cemetery now consists of returning that cemetery to its previous state.

"A post-mortem will take place today to try to determine how Jayden died and our management of various crime scenes in and around Didcot will be dependent on the outcome of that post-mortem."

Jayden's former boyfriend, 22-year-old Ben Blakeley, of Reading, has appeared at Oxford Crown Court charged with her murder and perverting the course of justice.

More than 100 uniformed officers and detectives have been working on the case, backed up by specialists from the National Crime Agency, since she disappeared.

The teenager, who had recently moved to Oxford, was last seen leaving Didcotrailway station at 4.27pm on December 3.

Police said there was "no indication" she was still alive, revealing Jayden had not used her mobile phone or accessed her bank account in the days since she had been reported missing.

Officers had previously issued an appeal for information about a man seen struggling with a suitcase just outside Upton, south of Didcot, at about 2am on Monday December 9.

A search of farmland on the outskirts of the village took place following the sighting.

Officers said a man was seen with the same suitcase in the Lydalls Road area of Didcot - where All Saints is located - at about 3.30am the same day.

Detectives have since recovered several suitcases, one of which "may well be significant", according to Mr Murray.

In a post on Facebook on Sunday, Jayden's mother Samantha Shrewsbury wrote: "My baby, my princess, my heart is so heavy baby girl."

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.