Detectives are investigating claims that murdered Jo Yeates was seen leaving her flat with two mysterious people on the night she vanished, it emerged today.
The landlord of the mansion house she lived in has told detectives he saw three people – one of whom he believes was Jo – leaving her property.
Chris Jefferies, 65, spotted the trio shortly after 9pm on December 17th – not long after Jo arrived home alone – as he parked his car in the street. Avon and Somerset Police yesterday confirmed it was exploring the landlord’s evidence.
Mr Jefferies said: ”Everything I am aware of I have told the police and I really don’t want to talk about it.” Another resident of 44 Canynge Road, Geoffrey Hardyman, 78, who lives the top floor flat, said: ”He saw people coming out after dark as he was parking his car.
”I don’t think he was really paying any attention but just assumed they were from flat 1 – Joanna’s flat. ”He didn’t know if they were male or female. It was after about 9pm and he thought they must have been her with friends, or just friends of hers.”
One close neighbour said: ”The landlord of the building has said he saw Jo leaving with two people on the Friday night she disappeared.”
Another Canynge Road resident, who does not want to be named, said there had been reports of other people acting suspiciously in the area. He said: ”Somebody living in the area observed people acting suspiciously in sufficient detail on the night Jo went missing.
”They have a much clearer idea of who these people might be.”
Mr Hardyman said he was bed-bound with a cold on the night of Joanna’s disappearance. The pensioner said everyone in her block had been extremely shocked by the events of the past 11 days.
He also dismissed reports of a party being held in the area – or screams being heard. ”It is very disturbing because there is a major police investigation going on in our building,” he said.
”I wasn’t very well on the night she went missing and didn’t hear anything. ”I have heard reports there was a party in the area, but I heard absolutely nothing and I am quite a sensitive sleeper.
”Everyone has been shocked and saddened by what has happened. But I don’t think there’s any particular fear in the building.”
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said yesterday (Weds): ”We have spoken to the landlord of the building and it is one line of inquiry we are looking into.” Landscape architect Jo, 25, left The Ram pub on Park Street, Bristol, at 8pm on December 17th after drinks with colleagues from the Building Design Partnership.
During the one-mile walk home she stopped at a Waitrose store, a Bargain Booze shop and then a Tesco Express store in Regent Street, Clifton. She left the store at 8.40pm with a Tesco Finest mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto pizza, which has never been found.
Her flat is about a ten minute walk from the shop. If Mr Jefferies’ evidence is correct, it would mean Jo left her flat with the two mysterious people within ten minutes of arriving home. Jo’s body was found three miles away in Longwood Lane, Failand, at 9am on Christmas Day. She had been strangled.