Neighbour detained in Joanna murder inquiry

DETECTIVES were last night questioning a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murdering landscape architect Joanna Yeates.

He was detained early yesterday after police investigating the 25-year-old's death uncovered fresh evidence.

Soon afterwards, specialist search teams moved into a neighbouring flat in the house where Miss Yeates lived in Canynge Road, Clifton, Bristol.

Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak, 32, is registered as living at the address with his girlfriend Tanja Morson.

Police officers were also seen at the offices of his employer, international consultancy Buro Happold, in Bath.

The firm, and several colleagues, referred all inquiries to Avon and Somerset Police. The force has not named the suspect in custody.

Earlier, police closed Canynge Road and put up scaffolding and green tarpaulin next to Miss Yeates's flat. Detectives also sealed off Aberdeen Road, about a mile from the flat, where the arrest is understood to have been made.

Later, forensic officers loaded three wheelie bins and a mountain bike from the house into a unmarked white transit van.

Miss Yeates's father welcomed the latest developments, which come almost five weeks after her disappearance.

Speaking at the family home in Hampshire, David Yeates, 63, said he was "pleased" the police investigation was "moving forward" but added they had been told only that "someone was arrested on suspicion of Jo's murder and their age."

He and his wife made a televised appeal for information earlier this week, in which the couple urged "armchair detectives" to help the investigation. It and footage of a reconstruction for BBC's Crimewatch led to more than 300 calls to the police.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the inquiry, yesterday thanked Miss Yeates's family and boyfriend for their "unfailing support" and the continued information coming in from the public.

The arrest comes two days after the Crimewatch reconstruction was filmed tracing Miss Yeates's last steps, focusing on what happened after she left her firm, BDP, in Bristol city centre on December 17.

She went first to the Bristol Ram pub on Park Street, where she spent around two hours with colleagues. At about 8pm she left to make the 30-minute walk home to the Canynge Road flat she shared with her boyfriend, and was captured on CCTV at a Waitrose supermarket at the Clifton Triangle and a branch of Tesco Express in Clifton village, where she bought a pizza.

Detectives said Miss Yeates made it home to her flat because her shoes, coat, mobile phone, purse and keys were found there but the pizza, the wrapping and its box are still missing along with Miss Yeates's ski sock. Tests showed she had not eaten the pizza.

Her boyfriend Greg Reardon, 27, reported her missing after he returned to Bristol on December 19 following a weekend away visiting family in Sheffield.

Her frozen body was found by dog walkers next to a country road in Somerset on Christmas Day. Police have said there was no evidence she had been sexually assaulted but they have not ruled out a sexual motive.

It is understood they are investigating whether Miss Yeates's body was taken from her home in a large bag or suitcase since there were no drag marks on Miss Yeates's body or clothing.

It has also been claimed that police found three separate foreign DNA traces on different parts of her body.

The latest arrest was the second to be made by detectives since her body was discovered. Miss Yeates's landlord Chris Jefferies, 65, was arrested on December 30. He was later released on bail.

Joanne Yeates murder timeline

Dec 17 – Jo Yeates is last seen by colleagues at 8pm. She visits an off-licence and picks up a pizza before returning to her flat. She then disappears.

Dec 19 – Boyfriend Greg Reardon reports her missing after he returns from a weekend away.

Dec 21 – Her parents, David and Teresa, appeal for her to come home.

Dec 25 – Miss Yeates's body is found on a country lane.

Dec 30 – Police arrest her landlord Chris Jefferies on suspicion of murder.

Jan 1 – Mr Jefferies is released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Jan 18 – Miss Yeates's parents urge anyone shielding her killer to come forward.

Jan 20 – A 32-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of murder.