The last person to speak to missing Bristol woman Joanna Yeates revealed she was happily making plans to spend Christmas and New Year with friends and family – just hours before she disappeared.
Rebecca Scott and Joanna Yeates
Pretty landscape architect Joanna, 25 – Jo to friends – mysteriously vanished from the upmarket streets of Clifton, Bristol, on Friday after spending the evening in the pub with colleagues.
Jo’s distraught parents and boyfriend Greg Reardon made a tearful appeal for information after police became increasingly concerned about her welfare.
Today Joanna’s best friend Rebecca Scott told how she had been on the phone to the sporty blonde just minutes after she left the pub.
Swansea University student Rebecca, Jo’s best friend since they met at college in Winchester, Hants., nine years ago, revealed they were happily finalising festive plans.
Rebecca, 25, said: ”I was the last person believed to have spoken to Jo. She rang me at 8.30pm on Friday as she walked back from the pub.
”We spoke for about 15 minutes – and she was totally normal.
”She seemed very happy and we were making plans for Christmas and New Year. She was due to come back home on Christmas Eve and we had agreed to meet up.
”Jo and Greg were spending Christmas at her parents.
”We were also finalising New Year’s Eve plans – we were going up to Edinburgh as a few of us wanted to go.
”Then I had a message from the police on my phone on Sunday saying Jo was missing.
”There doesn’t seem to be anything missing from the house at all – even her coat and keys are there. I know Jo, and she takes these kind of things with her.
”Everybody is worried sick about her and anybody that knows anything should come forward.”
Jo was last seen leaving The Ram pub on Park St, Bristol at 8pm on Friday evening after drinks with colleagues.
She picked up some shopping at a local Tesco store and arrived home – receipts in her flat from the shop are time marked 8.40pm – but has not been seen or heard from since.
Jo was reported missing by her boyfriend Greg when he returned to the flat they shared in the upmarket Clifton area on Sunday night.
She has not taken any possessions with her family say her disappearance is totally out of character.
Rebecca, studying PhD in marine biology at Swansea University, added: ”All the police’s normal missing persons scenarios have come to a dead end. She’s just not the sort of person to go missing.
Jo is not one to hide her feelings – if there’s something bothering her, she will say. Jo is really outgoing. She was a very, very popular girl and she’s done very well for herself.
1. The Ram on Park Street 2. Tesco on Regents Street 3. Joanna’s house in Canynge Street
”Greg is with her family at the moment – he is distraught.”
Blue-eyed Jo grew up in Romsey, Hants., and went to college in nearby Winchester – studying art, biology and geography.
She then went on to study landscape design and horticulture and Writtle College in Essex before landing a job at Hyland Edgar Driver landscape architects in Winchester.
It was here she was believed to have met boyfriend Greg, also a landscape architect.
The popular girl then moved to Bristol with Greg and her firm HED, finishing a Masters in Garden Design at Bristol University.
Sporty Joanna is described by friends as an outdoors person – who took part in a lot of energetic activities and had recently taken up rowing.
Her devastated parents David, 63, and Teresa, 58, who live in Southampton, issued a public appeal for her safe return on Tuesday.
They sobbed during a press conference alongside Joanna’s brother Chris and Greg.
Pal Emma Brooks, 25, who lived with Joanna during their studies at Writtle College, revealed that Jo and Greg were a very happy couple.
She said: ”They would look out for each other. Greg is such a lovely guy and he’s distraught at the moment.
”They are a lovely couple – it’s just so unfortunate that he was away on the weekend.
”We were all planning to go up to Edinburgh for New Years Eve for the Hogmanay. Everyone is upset at the moment – we just want to find her.”
Emma, from north London, has now rushed to Bristol and is putting up flyers around the city, appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
She revealed that worried fellow employees at Hyland Edgar Driver were also making posters in an attempt to track down the missing architect.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 0845456 7000 quoting Operation Braid or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.