Sarah Everard, whose body was found in woodland in Kent a week after she went missing, died from compression of the neck, a postmortem has found.
Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, at about 9pm on 3 March. She is believed to have walked through Clapham Common on her way home to Brixton, a journey that should have taken about 50 minutes.
Her disappearance triggered a major police investigation, involving hundreds of officers, in which detectives scoured CCTV, video doorbell and bus camera footage for any clue as to what might have happened to her. Video taken from a doorbell camera captured Everard on the A205 Poynders Road walking towards Tulse Hill – the last known sighting of her alive. Her body was found in Ashford on 3 March.
In a statement after her death, Everard’s family described her as “a shining example to us all” who brought them pride and joy. “Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister,” they said. “She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.”
Her death prompted renewed debate about the harassment, abuse and violence women face in their daily lives, with many sharing their own experiences to highlight their frequency and the lack of action. Vigils were held in Everard’s memory on 13 March with the Metropolitan police heavily criticised for the way they manhandled women who had gathered in Clapham Common to mourn her death.
The Met said on Tuesday: “A postmortem examination into the death of Sarah Everard held at the William Harvey hospital in Ashford has given cause of death as compression of the neck. Sarah’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.”
Wayne Couzens, 48, a serving Metropolitan police officer from Deal, Kent, has been charged with her kidnap and murder. A provisional date of 25 October has been set for his trial at the Old Bailey, with a plea hearing to take place on 9 July.
In April, the Met said a woman in her 30s who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, in connection with the abduction and death of Everard, had had her bail extended until early June. The woman was arrested at the same time as Couzens.