Serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with the murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard.
Scotland Yard said on Wednesday night that human remains had been found in an area of woodland in Ashford in Kent by detectives investigating the 33-year-old’s disappearance. On Friday the Met Police confirmed they were Ms Everard’s.
The serving police officer, 49, who works in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command had been arrested on suspicion of Ms Everard’s kidnap on Tuesday night.
This was later upgraded to murder and a separate charge of indecent exposure on Wednesday.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of special crime at the CPS, said: “Following a referral of evidence by the Metropolitan Police related to the death of Sarah Everard, the CPS has authorised the police to charge Wayne Couzens with murder and kidnapping.
“He will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court tomorrow (13 March) for his first hearing.
“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges to a court to consider.
“Criminal proceedings are now active and nothing should be published that could jeopardise the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”
Marketing executive Ms Everard vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London last Wednesday, Mar 3.
Ms Everard is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton – a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes.
She was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm on March 3.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick sought to reassure the public in the wake of Wednesday’s developments, saying “it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets”.
She added: “But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.”
The Met said the arrested officer’s main job was uniformed patrol of diplomatic premises, but would not specify where he had worked. He was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard’s disappearance.
The diplomatic protection squad is responsible for guarding the Parliamentary estate including Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, as well as embassies in London.
Pc Couzens will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court Court on Saturday March 13.