PC Wayne Couzens ‘spent day Sarah Everard vanished guarding US Embassy’

Police confirmed last night ‘human remains’ were found in the search for the 33-year-old marketing executive (Picture: Metropolitan Police / Getty Images)

The police officer arrested in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard is believed to have worked a shift guarding the US Embassy on the day she went missing.

Wayne Couzens, 48, was locally named yesterday as the officer arrested on suspicion of murder and kidnap in connection with the case.

A married dad-of-two, he is a member of the elite Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection squad – which entitles him to carry a firearm and a Metropolitan Police warrant card.

It is understood PC Couzens worked a 2pm to 8pm relief shift last Wednesday at the US Embassy in Nine Elms, south-west London.

But Scotland Yard said he was not on duty at the time Ms Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing.

At a press conference last night, Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick confirmed ‘human remains’ had been found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent.

She added: ‘We are not able to confirm any identity. That may take some considerable time.’

The officer, who has not yet been named officially by the Met, was further arrested for a separate allegation of indecent exposure.

Police are seen at the Great Chart Golf & Leisure Country Club, as the investigation into the disappearance of Sarah Everard continues, in Ashford, Britain, March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Paul Childs

Police remain at the Great Chart Golf and Leisure Country Club in Ashford, Kent as the investigation into the disappearance of Sarah Everard continues (Picture: Reuters)
It was confirmed ‘human remains’ were found at the scene last night, but they have not yet been identified (Picture: Reuters)
The area in Ashford is one of a number of sites officers have been searching in Kent and London (Picture: Reuters)
Police say they are ‘working around the clock’ to find out what has happened to Sarah (Picture: Reuters)

A woman, in her 30s, was arrested at the same address in Kent on suspicion of assisting an offender. Both remain in custody at a London police station.

Dame Cressida added: ‘The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer who was arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s murder has sent shockwaves and anger through the public and through the Met.

‘I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say that we are utterly appalled at this dreadful, dreadful news.

‘Our job, is to patrol the streets and to protect people. The investigation is large, it’s very fast moving, extremely determined. We have had and continue to have hundreds of officers and staff working around the clock.

‘Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances I know are every family’s worst nightmare.

‘Londoners will want to know that it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets, but I completely under that despite that, women in London and the wider public – perhaps particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may be feeling scared.’

Sarah Everard, 33, was last seen in Clapham last Wednesday night (Picture: Metropolitan Police)
Her family said it was ‘out of character’ for Ms Everard to be out of touch (Picture: Metropolitan Police)
PC Wayne Couzens, 48, was named yesterday as the officer arrested on suspicion of murder and kidnap in connection with the case (Picture: Kent Messenger / SWNS)

It comes after police searches were launched in Kent – at a house in Deal and a woodland in Ashford – and at a block of flats in Clapham, south London.

A neighbour said a police officer lives at the address in Deal with his ‘chatty’ wife and two children, adding: ‘They just seemed like a normal, regular family, there was nothing strange about them at all.’

Multiple cars were seen being taken away from the property in Freemens Way, while a neighbour said police were digging up the garden.

A metal fence was also put up surrounding the front garden and driveway.

Another said: ‘You don’t expect it to be on your doorstep, really. You see this sort of thing every day on the TV and the news but you don’t expect it.’

The Met said the investigation is continuing ‘at speed’, with more than 750 households in south London visited and 120 calls received from the public.

Forensic officers outside a house in Freemens Way in Deal, Kent, after detectives hunting for Sarah Everard, who has been missing since last Wednesday, arrested a Metropolitan Police officer at an address in the county. Picture date: Wednesday March 10, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Forensic officers seen outside a house in Freemens Way, Deal, Kent (Picture: PA)
Police officers also conducted a search of Poynders Road in Clapham, where Ms Everard was last seen (Picture: Getty Images)

Her worried family said yesterday they hope the arrests mean Ms Everard will be brought ‘home safely’.

Speaking to the media yesterday, assistant Met commissioner Nick Ephgrave described the arrest as a ‘serious and significant’ development in the search for Ms Everard.

‘We will continue to work with all speed on this investigation but the fact that the arrested man is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing.

‘I understand there will be significant public concern but it is essential that the investigative team are given the time and space to continue their work.’

Ms Everard went missing after leaving a friend’s home in Clapham, south-west London, at about 9pm last Wednesday.

She is thought to have walked from her friend’s house through Clapham Common towards her home in Brixton – a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes.

She was seen on footage from a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill, south of Brixton, at around 9.30pm on the night of her disappearance.

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