Police concentrate search for Jayden on grave in churchyard + Audio

Herald Series: Jayden Parkinson Jayden Parkinson

POLICE hunting for missing teenager Jayden Parkinson are expected to start searching a grave in Didcot today.

Detectives received a new tip-off yesterday afternoon that led them to a specific part of the cemetery at All Saints Church in Lydalls Road, Didcot.

Last night they were putting up a tent around the grave in preparation for beginning to search the plot today.

Jayden, 17, has not been seen since Tuesday, December 3 and her boyfriend, Ben Blakeley, has been charged with murdering her.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Murray would not be drawn on confirming that Jayden’s body had been buried there.

But he did say: “This afternoon we received some significant and highly relevant information which leads us to concentrate our search efforts in the Great Western Cemetery and a specific grave within the cemetery.

“We will be here throughout the night and for a number of days.

“A tent has been erected which covers more than the specific grave we are focusing on.

Listen to the police briefing in full at All Saints Church

“The investigation could take some time and is a very sensitive and difficult situation so we would like to ask the public and the media to be patient and understanding at this time.”

Mr Murray said Jayden’s family had been informed of the latest development and added: “They are absolutely distraught. This is a really, really difficult time for them.”

Scores of police have been searching the area between Didcot and Upton and Mr Murray said some of that work was continuing.

Yesterday afternoon Mr Murray said he believed someone in Didcot had crucial information about what had happened to Jayden and appealed for them to search their conscience.

He added: “Let’s find Jayden.”

The former Didcot Girls’ School pupil, pictured, – who police say may have been pregnant when she went missing – has not been seen since she took a train from Oxford to Didcot.

The Vicar of All Saints Church, Rev Karen Beck, said: “We are co-operating with the police in every way we can.

“Our main concern is for Jayden and her family and we are praying for them and hoping to support young people in the town.

“The whole community has been greatly disturbed by what has happened and that includes our congregation.”

Parts of the historic church date back to the 12th century.

Blakeley, 22, has been charged with murder and perverting the course of justice.

A 17-year-old Didcot boy is also charged with perverting the course of justice.

They both appeared at Oxford Crown Court yesterday and were remanded in custody.

A trial is likely to be held in June.

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Timeline

  • December 3: 3.27pm – Jayden leaves One Foot Forward in Iffley Road
  • December 3: 4.07pm – She arrives at Oxford station and boards a train to Didcot
  • December 3: 4.27pm – CCTV footage shows her leaving Didcot Parkway. This is the last sighting of her
  • December 9: 2am – A man is seen in the vicinity of Upton struggling with a suitcase
  • December 9:  2.30am – The same man is seen with the same suitcase in the Lydalls Road area of Didcot
  • December 11: Police issue the first public appeal for Jayden’s whereabouts
  • December 12: Forty police officers are put on the case to look for the 17-year-old
  • December 13: Ben Blakeley is arrested on suspicion of murder and a 17-year-old is also arrested on suspicion of murder while the search begins to focus on the countryside between Didcot and Upton
  • December 14: Police say publicly it is a murder investigation and search a property in Abbott Road and the former Crown pub in Queensway
  • December 15: A grassed area in Lydalls Road, Didcot, is cordoned off and searched as the hunt continues. Blakeley, 22, from Christchurch Road in Reading, is charged with murder and perverting the course of justice
  • December 16: Blakeley appears before Oxford Magistrates’ Court. A 17-year-old boy from Didcot, who cannot be named, is charged with perverting the course of justice and also appears in court
  • December 17: Blakeley appears at Oxford Crown Court and the 17-year-old appears at Oxford Youth Court and then Oxford Crown Court

 

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