Parents of 1995 murder victim urge police to carry out DNA tests near Jo Yeates’ house


The parents of a murdered Bristol teenager have urged police to DNA test thousands of people living near tragic architect Jo Yeates in a bid to catch her killer.

Jo Yeates murder: Parents of 1995 victim urge police to carry out DNA tests

Tragic Louise Smith, 18, was raped and murdered as she walked home from a nightclub in Yate, Bristol, on Christmas Day in 1995.

Avon and Somerset Police took DNA samples from 5,000 men in the area when initial enquiries failed to trace the killer.

Evil student David Frost, 21, was caught 14 months after the murder when police noticed he had evaded giving a DNA sample they had requested.

The parents of Louise today urged the same police force that caged their daughter’s killer to take swabs from people in the Clifton area of Bristol.

Gillian Smith, 63, said DNA tests on residents in upmarket Clifton, Bristol, where Jo went missing, would help achieve “justice” for her parents David and Teresa.

She said: ”I would hope that people in the area are tested when the police are ready to do it.

”If they have a sample of DNA and no match on the national database, then they should use it.

”They should test residents near where she lived in Clifton and where her body was found.

”The tension in Bristol and around Clifton will not be relieved until someone is caught.

”That is a major goal. When we heard the man who killed Louise had been caught it was fantastic.

”It is a moment of sheer elation but then we realised it doesn’t mean that we got Louise back.

”Although that moment of elation is short-lived I hope that Joanna’s parents get to feel it as soon as possible.”

Gillian and husband Robert woke on Christmas morning in 1995 to find Louise had not slept in her bed.

She had been snatched while making her way home from Spirals nightclub in Yate.

Police, friends and family launched a high-profile search to find her – but her body was found dumped in Barnhill Quarry, a mile from her home, seven weeks later.

Suspicion fell on Frost after samples of DNA were taken from thousands of people in the Chipping Sodbury area of Bristol.

Officers went to South Africa – where he had gone to work – and got the sample before arresting him at Heathrow Airport in April 1997 when he returned to the country.

Frost was jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court in February 1998.

Both Gillian and Robert believe their daughter’s killer would never have been caught without DNA testing.

They claim the same evidence could be crucial in closing the net on Jo’s strangler.

Gillian said: ”The sooner whoever did it is caught, the better, and if DNA can be used to achieve that then I am sure the police will do it.

”DNA is the only thing that trapped Louise’s killer because he was a stranger to her and was never a suspect.

”If those 5,000 tests were done in Bristol and they caught Joanna’s killer it would be worth it because justice could then be done.”

The couple also issued a heartfelt message to the family of popular Jo.

Emotional Gillian said: ”Christmas is always a hard time for us anyway, but this year it really has not been great.

”We would not wish this situation on anybody – Jo’s parents are probably going through hell at the moment.

”Now that they have found her though it will be a big relief. It’s the not knowing that is the worst thing.

”But we have full confidence in Avon and Somerset Police. They were fantastic with us and kept us really informed all the way through.

”They keep things back for a reason and we appreciate that now.”

Strangled Jo’s body was found dumped in Longwood Lane, on the outskirts of Bristol, on Christmas Day.

Avon and Somerset Police has so far refused to confirm or deny whether a sample of DNA was found on Miss Yeates’ body or at her flat.

They have also refused to comment on whether they plan to carry out DNA tests in and around Clifton.


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