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Murder inquiry launched as police seek missing teen
IT was the last thing the family of Jayden Parkinson wanted to hear.
On Saturday, as he announced the hunt for Jayden had publicly become a murder inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Murray said: “The father in me would like to think that Jayden is still out there, but I am afraid the detective in me leads me to conclude that Jayden may well have been murdered.
Police search a field between Didcot and Upton
“That’s why we have detectives out there still trying to find Jayden, still trying to find evidence that might lead to someone being convicted if she has been murdered.”
Yesterday Upton and Didcot continued to be the focus of about 100 police searching for the 17-year-old, who went missing on Tuesday, December 3.
Last night they were combing a grassed area in Lydalls Road, Didcot.
Jayden’s boyfriend – 22-year-old Ben Blakeley from Christchurch Road in Reading – was last night charged with murder and perverting the course of justice. He will appear at Oxford Magistrates Court this morning. A 17-year-old who went to a police station on Friday and was arrested on suspicion of murder was last night still being detained by officers.
Mr Murray said Jayden’s parents were distraught but remained hopeful that she might be found.
Jayden went missing on Tuesday, December 3 after leaving a hostel in Iffley Road, Oxford.
She travelled by train from the city to Didcot, the town where her mother lived.
Jayden was last seen on CCTV at Didcot Parkway train station just before 4.30pm.
Over the weekend officers were scouring fields north of Upton, near Didcot, and have revealed a man was seen in the village struggling with a large suitcase in the early hours of Monday, December 9.
The man was seen in Upton at 2am and again half an hour later in the Lydalls Road area of Didcot.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Murray
Mr Murray said: “A witness saw a man with a large suitcase. The suitcase was large, heavy, and difficult to manage.
“That man was having difficulty removing the suitcase from that area.
“We would like to know where that suitcase is and we would like to hear from anybody who may have seen that man.”
Over the weekend the search in Upton seemed to be focusing on a wooded area in one of the fields behind St Mary the Virgin church.
A former pub in Didcot, The Crown in Queensway, and a house nearby in Abbott Road have also been searched.
Police officers searched a recycling bin at the Crown to find evidence of Jayden’s clothing.
Yesterday Supt Christian Bunt, the police commander for Oxford, said the force was searching the Lydalls Road grassed area as a result of information received.
He said: “It is a critical time in our investigation and we have a number of scenes in the Didcot area that need preserving and we would ask for the public’s help in making sure that our officers can carry out their work without any evidence being jeopardised due to people carrying out their own searches.”
Can you help?
- JAYDEN is white, of slim build with shoulder length dark brown hair and brown eyes
- The man with the suitcase is described as in his early 20s, white, about 5ft 6in, 5ft 7in tall, medium to slim build with short dark hair and probably wearing light coloured jeans
- The suitcase is described as about 3ft by 2ft, about 15in deep, light coloured, probably made of canvas material and probably pale blue in colour
- It is on wheels, has an extendable handle, two silver bars with a black handle and the man was having difficulty actually wheeling that suitcase
Jayden: timeline since she was last seen
CCTV shot of Jayden at Oxford station
- December 3, 3.27pm – Jayden leaves One Foot Forward in Iffley Road, Oxford
- December 3, 4.07pm – She arrives at Oxford station, below, 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 issues the first appeal for Jayden’s whereabouts
- December 12 – Forty police officers are put on the case to look for the 17-year-old
- December 13 – A 22-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of murder and a 17-year-old hands himself in to a police station and is also arrested on suspicion of murder while the hunt for Jayden begins to focus on the countryside between Didcot and Upton, and former Crown pub in Queensway
- December 14 – Police launch a murder investigation and search a property in Abbotts Road
- December 15 – A grassed area in Lydalls Road is cordoned off and searched as the hunt continues
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION CAN CALL 101, quoting URN 542 10/12 or crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111
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