Timeline of Sarah Everard’s disappearance

·3-min read

A serving Metropolitan Police officer has appeared in court charged with the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, more than a week after the 33-year-old went missing from south London.

Here is a timeline of the key events in her disappearance:

– March 2: Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, begins a 12-hour shift at 7pm before going on leave.

– March 3: Marketing executive Ms Everard goes missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, at around 9pm to make the 2.5-mile journey home.

She calls her boyfriend and stays on the phone to him for around 14 minutes, a court hearing on March 13 of the man accused of her kidnap and murder is told.

She is captured alone on CCTV at 9.15pm, caught again alone on a camera at 9.28pm, and later caught alone on the camera of a marked police car at 9.32pm.

Flowers left at the bandstand on Clapham Common
Flowers left at the bandstand on Clapham Common (Ian West/PA)

At around 9.35pm, a bus camera captures two figures on Poynders Road and a white Vauxhall Astra with its hazard lights flashing.

Another bus camera captures the same car with both front doors open.

The registration of the vehicle – later confirmed to be a car hired in Dover – is captured and tracked by police as it leaves London towards Kent.

– March 5: Couzens, who is due back at work in a few days, reports that he is suffering from stress.

– March 6: Metropolitan Police raise the alarm over Ms Everard’s disappearance, saying it was “totally out of character” for her not to be in contact with family and friends. Police release a CCTV image of her, saying she was thought to have walked through Clapham Common after leaving her friend’s flat, heading towards her home in Brixton, a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes.

On the same day Couzens, a trained firearms officer, emails his supervisor to say he does not want to carry a firearm anymore.

– March 8: Scotland Yard says it remains “open minded as to all possibilities” over Ms Everard’s disappearance, while confirming a missing persons investigation has been launched. Specialist officers are drafted in from across the Metropolitan Police force.

– March 9: Police use sniffer dogs to search gardens in streets around the site near Ms Everard’s envisaged route home.

The Met tweets that it has arrested a police officer at an address in Kent in connection with Ms Everard’s disappearance. Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave says the fact the man is a serving police officer “is both shocking and deeply disturbing”.

– March 10: Detectives investigating the disappearance search a home and woodland at two locations in Kent.

Police searches in Freemens Way, Deal, Kent
Police searches in Freemens Way, Deal, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The Met later reveals the suspect is a diplomatic protection officer in his 40s and that he is being questioned over suspected kidnap and murder.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick announces that what appear to be human remains have been found in woodland in Ashford, Kent.

– March 12: Police confirm the body found in Kent woodland is that of Ms Everard.

Couzens, 48, is charged with kidnap and murder.

– March 13: Couzens appears at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The hearing is told Ms Everard’s body was found inside a large builder’s bag and identified using dental records.

A police van arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning
A police van arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning (Steve Parsons/PA)

A post-mortem examination has taken place, the prosecutor says, but no cause of death is given in court.

The court also hears that Ms Everard’s phone has not yet been recovered.

Police in dry suits are seen continuing to search around the area where Ms Everard’s body was found.

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