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Tragic discovery Body of Sarah Everard (33) found in Kent woodland

Ms Everard vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3, with her suspected kidnap and murder prompting anger over the safety of women on the UK’s streets.

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Sarah Everard (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

Sarah Everard (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

Sarah Everard (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

A body found in a woodland in Kent is that of missing woman Sarah Everard, Scotland Yard have confirmed.

The 33-year-old’s remains were found in an area of woodland in Ashford, in Kent, on Wednesday.

On Thursday night, Ms Everard’s family released a statement describing her as a “shining example to us all”, and said she had “brought so much joy to our lives”.

Ms Everard vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3, with her suspected kidnap and murder prompting anger over the safety of women on the UK’s streets.

A serving police officer, who is aged in his 40s, remains in custody after being detained on suspicion of Ms Everard’s murder and kidnap, and a separate allegation of indecent exposure. Police have been granted more time to question him.

The arrested officer, who is in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, was treated for a head injury sustained while in custody on Thursday. He was later discharged and returned to the police station where he is being held.

Scotland Yard is facing an investigation by the police watchdog into its handling of an allegation of indecent exposure involving the suspect in the Sarah Everard case.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is to probe whether officers “responded appropriately” after receiving a report that a man had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in south London on February 28 – three days before the 33-year-old went missing.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave made the announcement outside Scotland Yard on Friday.

He said: “On Wednesday evening detectives investigating the disappearance of Sarah Everard discovered a body secreted in woodland in Kent.

“The body has now been recovered and a formal identification procedure has been undertaken. I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard.

“Clearly Sarah’s family have been updated with this most distressing news.

“I just want to pause for a moment and say that my thoughts and prayers, and those of the entire organisation, remain with her and with them at this awful time.”

With additional reporting from PA.

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