UK police officer suspected of murder in missing woman case

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A forensic officer outside a house where detectives are investigating the case of missing woman Sarah Everard, in Deal, southern England, Wednesday March 10, 2021. Police have arrested a serving police officer in connection with the missing woman, Everard who went missing last Wednesday while walking home in south London. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and murder in connection with a woman who went missing in London last week, Britain’s Metropolitan Police said. The force said Wednesday the fact that the man is a serving police officer is “shocking and deeply disturbing.”

The force said the man, who is in his 40s, was arrested late Tuesday in Kent, southeast of London, as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who vanished while walking home from a friend’s apartment in south London on March 3.

Police said the suspect was a serving officer in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, and was responsible for patrolling diplomatic premises.

He was first arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, and on Wednesday he was “further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.”

The officer wasn’t on duty at the time of Everard’s disappearance. Police didn’t say whether he knew Everard. The force said he was arrested along with a woman in her 30s, who was held on suspicion of assisting an offender. Both suspects remained in custody.

“This is a serious and significant development in our search for Sarah and the fact that the man who has been arrested is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing,” Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said.

Detectives were searching a locations in London and a house and woodland in Kent following the arrest of the officer and the woman. The officer has been taken into custody at a London police station.

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