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Police remove Jefferies car for forensic tests
The landlord of landscape architect Joanna Yeates has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
Chris Jefferies, 65, was taken in for questioning from his home in the Clifton area of Bristol this morning by Avon and Somerset Police.
Shortly after 9.30am, detectives removed Mr Jefferies' silver Chrysler car, which was parked on the road outside the Victorian block of flats that he owns, for forensic tests.
A grey Volvo S40 parked on the driveway of number 44 Carnynge Rd behind some bushes was then taken away on a low loader.
A spokesman from the police said: "Just after 7am this morning, police attended an address in Canynge Road and arrested a 65-year-old man on suspicion of murder.
"He has been taken into custody at a police station within the Avon and Somerset force area and detained for questioning."
The arrest comes after Mr Jefferies told detectives yesterday that he believed he'd seen Miss Yeates leave her Victorian block of flats with two other people on the night she died.
Mr Jefferies, who lives above the flat Miss Yeates shared with her boyfriend Greg Reardon, had told neighbours he'd seen three people leaving the building's communal entrance on the night Miss Yeates disappeared, and eight days before she was discovered dead.
The retired public school teacher said he spotted the trio shortly after 9pm on December 17, not long after Miss Yeates arrived home alone, as he parked his car in the street.
Mr Jefferies, who is a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, reported the sighting to police and they confirmed yesterday they are examining the evidence.
Speaking outside his home yesterday, Mr Jefferies denied he had told police he saw Miss Yeates leaving with two unidentified people.
He said: "It is a serious distortion of what I said to the police and I have no further comment to make as that, no doubt, will be distorted."
Earlier, he told Sky News: "I made some comment which was very, very, very much vaguer than that.
"Anything that I have said I have said to the police and I'm not prepared to make any comments to the media."
He added: "I definitely cannot say that I saw Joanna Yeates that evening. No."
Mr Jefferies is chairman of the Bath and Wells branch of the Prayer Book society and has managed the flats at the converted Victorian house where Miss Yeates lived since 1990.
The body of the former Hampshire schoolgirl was found on Christmas Day. She had been strangled.
CCTV footage was released yesterday showing Miss Yeates entering an off licence after leaving the Ram pub in Bristol city centre on the night she disappeared.
Miss Yeates, who was a former pupil of Sherborne House School in Chandler's Ford and Embley Park School in Romsey, bought two bottles of cider at a Bargain Booze Store, close to the Tesco Express where she bought a pizza as she walked home on Friday, December 17.
Mr Reardon, 27, reported her missing on Sunday night after returning to the flat they shared from a weekend away in Sheffield.
Detectives were yesterday still working in Longwood Lane in Failand, North Somerset where Miss Yeates' snow-covered body was found by a couple walking their dogs.
Police said that forensic examinations will continue today.
Miss Yeates' parents, who live in Ampfield, Romsey, have spoken of their relief when their daughter's body was found.
Speaking earlier this week, Mr Yeates said: "Hearing Jo had been murdered was not a surprise because we had been told to prepare for the worst.
"Things were made just that little bit less terrible when we saw Jo's body again - we just said 'Welcome back'."
Detectives investigating Joanna's murder are continuing to carry out forensic examinations, and are also continuing to appeal for anyone with any information that can help the enquiry to call the Operation Braid incident room on 0845 456 7000 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111