CCTV hope on bridge in hunt for architect death clue

CCTV footage from one of Britain's most famous landmarks is to be examined by police investigating the death of landscape architect Joanna Yeates.

Officers will look at images taken from Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, the main route from the 25-year-old's home to the country lane where her body was found on Christmas Day.

Miss Yeates's death is being treated as suspicious, although police revealed last night that the frozen condition in which her body was discovered meant they had yet to establish how she died.

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Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "Until the post-mortem examination is able to firmly establish how Joanna died, we are keeping an open mind about the cause of her death.

"However, I would appeal to anyone with any information whatsoever that can help this investigation to please come forward and help us provide Joanna's parents with the answers they so desperately want and need."

Miss Yeates, from Clifton, Bristol, had not been seen since December 17 when CCTV showed her in a Tesco store on her way home to her flat in Canynge Road.

A couple walking their dogs on Christmas morning found her body, clothed and covered in snow, as they walked along Longwood Lane, close to Bristol and Clifton Golf Club.

The site, which is three miles from Miss Yeates's home, is a potential crime scene and the Avon Fire Service was called to help police remove the body carefully in order to preserve any forensic evidence.

Before the grim discovery, Miss Yeates's father David said he "would be relieved" if the body were his daughter so they would have the opportunity to say goodbye.

"It hasn't been a Christmas for us," Mr Yeates said. "I don't know what it's been. It's been surreal, totally unreal.

"In truth we feel like we hope ... we would be relieved if it was her.

"We don't want to go to our graves wondering where she is and not being given the chance to say goodbye to her."

The last known sighting of Miss Yeates was recorded on CCTV as she bought a pizza at Tesco Express in Clifton on the evening of December 17. The university graduate, who worked as a landscape architect for BDP, was making her way home from the Ram pub in Park Street at about 8pm after a night out with work colleagues.

On her way home she rang her best friend Rebecca Scott to arrange to meet on Christmas Eve.

Miss Yeates was reported missing two days later by her boyfriend Greg Reardon, 27, who had returned home from a weekend visiting family in Sheffield to find she had gone.

Mr Reardon's mother, Lydia, from Ilfracombe, Devon, said she believed Miss Yeates and her son were planning to get married.

She said: "She is a lovely, gorgeous girl.

"Greg has brought her home and she's stayed with us a few times. They've been together for a couple of years now.

"Greg is so fond of her. We thought that when he finished getting the last of his qualifications they would get engaged."

Friends of Miss Yeates have left tributes to her on the social networking website Facebook.

Bec Wood wrote: "Rest In Peace Jo. You will always be loved and remembered for being so beautiful, kind, successful, and lovely.

"You made Greg so happy. Our thoughts are with Greg, your parents and all of your families and friends. We will miss you Jo, and hope that you have peace now. Love and prayers xxxxxx"

Michael Whitcher added: "Rest in peace little Jo, we will miss you always. My hearts and thoughts go out to her family, and I am thankful I knew you. God bless xxx".

Police said they would be unable to confirm the cause of Miss Yeates's death until "today at the earliest".

Mystery of the missing pizza

Seventy police officers and staff have worked on Operation Braid, Avon and Somerset Police's inquiry into the death of Joanna Yeates.

A key part of the investigation relates to the pizza which Miss Yeates was seen buying from Tesco Express on the evening of December 17.

There was no trace of the pizza, the wrapping or the box in her home – despite the fact that the receipt, the coat she was wearing, and her mobile phone and keys were inside.

In the inquiry's initial stages, Bristol-based officers liaised with detectives at North Yorkshire Police, who have been searching for missing York chef Claudia Lawrence since March 2009.