Detectives have charged 32 year old Vincent Tabak with murder.
He will appear at Bristol magistrates court on Monday January 24 2011
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones who leads the investigation said on Saturday:
“This evening we have charged Vincent Tabak with the murder of Joanna Yeates.
“I would like to pay tribute to Jo’s family and Greg for their assistance and dignity in the most difficult of circumstances. Their support to us has been invaluable.
“I would also like to thank the general public for their help and the information they continue to provide to the investigation, and the residents of Canynge Road for their co-operation and patience.”
Early this morning a 32 year old man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Joanna Yeates.
DCI Phil Jones, the senior investigating officer, said:
“I would like to thank the public for their continued support for the investigation and the information they have provided to us.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Jo’s family and to Greg who continue to be unfailing in their support to me and my team at what is an incredibly difficult and painful time for them.”
Proceedings are active and everyone is reminded of the Contempt of Court Act and therefore you will understand that we cannot discuss any more details at this stage
A reconstruction of Jo’s steps on the night of Friday 17th December will be shown on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme.
This is planned to broadcast at 21:00 GMT on Wednesday 26th January.
Please encourage anyone in the Bristol area to tune in, this could help jog people’s memories to provide key information for the case.
Jo’s parents have made a further statement appealing to those responsible for their daughters death.
“We are making this appeal as we feel this is one way we can help this police investigation. We feel we are part of the police investigation, just as much as the investigating officers. 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.
“Whatever we do or say, we do not want to frustrate or compromise the police investigation.
“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.
“Nearly the whole country has been moved by the tragic events surrounding Jo’s murder.
“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 consciously 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.
“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 week-end 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?
“As mentioned above, scenarios abound regarding Jo. 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?
“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?
“Please help us identify the killer. Jo was probably acquainted with her killer.
“We are sure the killer will be brought to justice. When this happens, please think how you will feel, if you knew the killer, and you had questions in your mind which you consciously refused to act on.”
Nearly a month since Joanna Yeates went missing from her home in Caynage Road Clifton; one of her best friends has spoken for the first time of her loss.
Rebecca Scott, 25, spoke openly of their 10 year friendship. She said: “Jo and I met over 10 years ago at the college where we studied. We were 15 years old and hit it off straight away, we were inseparable and have always remained close friends, even when we went off to separate universities.
“Although we didn’t see that much of each other in recent months, as both our lives were so hectic, we have always remained close and when we did see each other it was like we had never been apart.
“She was a great friend and I have many fond memories of her, everyone did. She was full of life and energy, and she had so much life still to live, but that has now been taken away. She was extremely warm and friendly and was at a very happy point in her life.”
She added: “Every memory I have her is a fond one, from those first nights out we had together to those holidays in Cornwall where we’d spend time camping. Jo was a great lover of the outdoors. When I came to Bristol to visit we’d often sit by the Clifton Suspension bridge, this was one of her favourite places and talk about everything best friends do.
“She was so happy with Greg to, she’d been with him for over 2 years and they were perfect for each other. They were very close and anyone around them could see that happiness and just how good they were together.
“Jo was besotted with Greg and it was great to see that happiness when they moved in together and got the cat. They were perfect.”
Joanna went missing on Friday December 17. After leaving the Ram public house on Park Street following drinks with work friends Jo called Rebecca. Rebecca added: “When I found our Jo had gone missing I hoped she was still alive but deep down I couldn’t help but think she’d been abducted and some harm had come to her. The next few days both Emma and I spent handing out posters and flyers, we needed to do something to help; I couldn’t sleep so kept in regular contact with Jo’s family, Greg and Emma.
“As the days went by, as best we could we tried to have a Christmas, my parents were concerned about me and were upset as they too were close to Jo. On Christmas day we heard the news we had all been dreading, we had the TV on watching the news when it was reported a body had been found.
“In a way I felt relief at the news. I was gutted too but I knew that she was now not a missing person and no further harm could come of her. I remember sending her mum a message saying I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to say. Everyone was devastated.”
Joanna’s body was discovered in Longwood Lane, in Failand near Bristol, a murder investigation was launched and continues.
Rebecca said: “We are now all desperate to see justice done, so if anyone has information I urge you to call the police. You may not have seen or heard anything but think back, has a friend or family member been acting strangely or suspiciously? If so please call the police and think about how you’d never want your best friend found murdered on Christmas day.”
Anyone who would like to contact the police can call 0845 456 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also visit our Facebook site or website http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/jo where there is a dedicated Operation Braid page.
Chris Yeates and his partner Alla Ritch have released the below statement
“From December 19th onwards I entered into a surreal hole of despair. Jo was my sister and I shared the fear that my parents had that something bad had happened to her. My partner and I have been supporting each other and through the time when Jo was missing contacted many helpful businesses to put up posters and also put up many ourselves to ensure Jo’s face was known to as many people as possible. The whole week seemed very unreal up to the time when Jo was found which to me did not bring closure but an acceptance of the situation.
I got to say a final emotional goodbye to Jo and the despair I had was replaced with a wave of deep sadness. The last couple of weeks I have been spending time with my partner and her son comforting each other and trying to get our heads around what has happened whilst supporting my parents as much as possible.
The tremendous amount of support we have had from family, friends and the general public has been truly overwhelming and brings a sense of slight elation at an otherwise tragic time.
All my memories of Jo are positive and I’ve etched these into my mind. We never had sibling rivalry or negative feelings towards each other. She lived her life to the full and for me is a personal inspiration to follow ones passion and push oneself.
My hope is that whoever did this is bought to justice and I have confidence that the police will track down the person or persons responsible.
My partner Alla had a few words she also wanted to say :
In the past few weeks my family underwent a whirlwind of emotional stress and test of relationships. Jo would be very proud to see how all family members pulled together to provide each other with comfort and support as well as to spread the word via numerous channels.
Thank you all for your heartfelt messages of love and support, it made my family and I feel blessed in these difficult times.
Jo’s body looked very peaceful as if she was just sleeping and was about to open her eyes but breath was no longer there. Chris and Jo have similar features and at that point it seemed as if I was standing between representations of both life and death.
Joanna Yeates was and remains a perfect beacon of light and a great example to us all to live everyday to our fullest potential. We could all follow in her example. I am confident that many good things will emerge in her name as a result of this ordeal. She was an architect, a creator of better living space for humanity.
It seems that only the darkest of all souls could literally put her bright light out like this.
Nothing in the world is going to change what happened to Jo, but I hope that whoever is responsible will be stopped from doing any more harm to innocent people. “
The Yeates family have released the statement below:
“It is now 3 weeks since Jo disappeared and our lives were changed for ever. The days have merged into a single period of time. We have still not come to terms with the fact that Jo will never walk through the door and say ‘Hi Mum’, or ‘Hi Dad’. We feel a terrible loss and sadness, not just for ourselves, but for Jo, Chris and Greg.
For Jo, she never had the opportunity to achieve her full potential, experience all the emotions surrounding getting married, the joy of having children, and the excitement of designing and defining a family home.
Chris has lost a sister, someone with whom he could share memories with when we are gone, and someone who he knew loved him just as he loved her.
We had the privilege and pleasure of having Jo with us for around 23 years, before she moved to Bristol. We were aware that she was moving into her adult life, and that ‘home’ would not necessarily be referring to us and where we lived. We would be ‘first reserve’. We would have it in no other way. We gain solace that she had found Greg, and Greg and found her and that up until the time of her murder it was probably one of the happiest periods of her life.
Christmas was her favourite time of the year. I think she enjoyed receiving presents just as much as giving. She always stayed with us over Christmas, and still had the same stocking which she had as a young child – which was always filled with sweets etc. It was heart breaking being in her flat, with her missing, and seeing her Christmas tree with a little pile of presents next to it all wrapped by her, with the feeling that we would probably not see her alive again.
We were excited and looking forward to having Jo and Greg with us over the Christmas period, because this was the first time that either of our children had bought their partner home for Christmas. Our Christmases in the future will be a time for remembering, rather than festivities – thanks to Jo’s killer.
We have been overwhelmed by the reactions of everybody over Jo’s disappearance and subsequent murder. I truly felt that Jo would simply be just another statistic, lost in all the other violent events which occur each day, but I am heartened that this has not been the case, and that many people, through the words written and the pictures shown, have seen in Jo a small part of what we saw in her.
Over the last few days we have received many cards and letters of condolence which moved us to tears, mostly from people who have never met us or Jo. In many different ways they have been touched by her and her passing. We are most thankful for these messages.
We are currently living in a vacuum until we can put Jo to rest. Our days appear to go past very quickly even though in retrospect we don’t do very much apart from talking, and reading the cards and letters which are delivered that day. When our eyes get damp from what we have read, we remind ourselves of how happy Jo was immediately prior to her death, and of the happy times we had when we were a family of four. We feel that currently we are able to support each other, probably because of the shared emotions, experiences and memories. Inevitably, after seeing the changing news in the papers and on television, we spend a lot of time hypothesising about the events which took Jo from a happy carefree young lady to a body dumped by the side of a road – like a piece of garbage.
We maintain regular contact with the police, and continue to give them our support and assistance in any way we can. We would like to reiterate the request for any information which could relate to Jo’s death, however small or insignificant it might appear. That single piece could just enable the police to understand what happened, and identify the killer. We are optimistic that the increased reward will concentrate people’s minds on where they were on that Friday night, and what they saw which might be relevant.“