Picture: Metropolitan Police. Pc Wayne Couzens
A policeman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after human remains were found in woodland.
Wayne Couzens, 49, a father of two, was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent.
He is being questioned about the disappearance of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive.
The remains, found in Ashford, Kent, have yet to be identified.
Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said news a serving officer had been arrested had sent “waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met”.
She added: “I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news.
“Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.
“Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare.
“It is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets”.
Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said the arrest was a “shocking and deeply disturbing development”.
Scotland Yard has reported itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over its actions once Ms Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend.
A woman in her 30s was also arrested in Deal alongside Pc Couzens.
She is suspected of assisting an offender.
The Met also revealed Pc Couzens – an armed officer at Westminster – had been arrested after an allegation of indecent exposure.
These allegations are now also being looked at by the IOPC.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said:
“A man arrested in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard remains in custody at a London police station.
“The man, in his 40s, was arrested on the evening of Tuesday, March 9th on suspicion of kidnap.
“Today, Wednesday, March 10th, he has been further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.
“The man is a serving Metropolitan Police officer in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
“His primary role was uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises.
“A woman, who is in her 30s, was also arrested on the evening of March 9 on suspicion of assisting an offender.
“She remains in custody.”
It is believed the breakthrough in the investigation followed CCTV footage filmed by a camera on a London bus.
The vehicle was travelling along the route Ms Everard – a Durham University graduate – would have taken back to her home in Brixton, South London.
She had been visiting friends in Clapham and left at 21.00 to make the 50 minutes’ walk.
She spoke to her boyfriend Josh Lowth during the journey and arranged to meet him the next day.
Just after 21.30, she passed the junction of Cavendish Road where a doorbell camera captured a glimpse of her.
That was the last confirmed sighting.
When Ms Everard did not meet Josh Lowth as arranged, he raised the alarm.
Initially the police said there was no evidence that anything untoward had happened to Ms Everard.
But days later the inquiry took off and the Met’s Specialist Crime Command – which handles murder investigations – took over the case.