Tragic Joanna Yeates may have been attacked in her flat by an intruder and strangled with one of her own ski socks, it emerged today.
Landscape architect Jo, 25, was found in a remote spot covered in snow, minus her coat, boots and one of her blue/grey size five ski socks.
Jo’s boots were discovered in her flat and the white coat she was last seen wearing was hanging on a hook, but there was no sign of the missing sock.
Police are following several lines of inquiry, but believe the killer may have taken the ski sock as a trophy — or that the garment could have been used as a ligature to strangle Jo.
The killer will have removed the sock from the scene either as a keep-sake or because it would have DNA traces left on it from the force used to throttle her.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the murder investigation, said he was ”keeping an open mind” as to whether Jo had been strangled with the sock.
He said: ”When Jo was found on Christmas Day she wasn’t wearing her jacket. She wasn’t wearing her boots and she was only wearing one sock.
”The jacket and the boots have been found at her home address. That would indicate that Jo had returned home.
”At this present time the sock has not been found. It is a ski type sock and would fit a size five.”
CI Jones refused to speculate on any other items missing from Jo’s Canynge Road flat in upmarket Clifton, Bristol.
He appealed to members of the public who may have seen the sock in a car, house or being disposed of to come forward.
CI Jones added: ”We have conducted a meticulous search of the flat. I am happy with how the investigation is progressing.
”It is meticulous. It is a complex investigation. I have always kept an open mind as to whether there was one person or more than one person involved and I am continuing to keep an open mind.”
He said the launch of the Avon and Somerset Facebook appeal for information about Jo had been viewed at least 250,000 times.
The page about Joanna on the force’s website had received 70,000 views, while YouTube footage showing CCTV of Jo had viewed 120,000 times.
Since the launch of the Facebook appeal, the force had received 26 calls and 75 emails with information.