The last person to have spoken to Jo Yeates today revealed she was ”besotted” with her boyfriend and dismissed talk the landscape architect was seeing anyone else.
Devastated Rebecca Scott – Jo’s best friend since college – spoke out about the murdered blonde’s relationship with her boyfriend of two years, Greg Reardon, 27.
Grieving Rebecca, 25, backed calls for city-wide DNA testing in the hunt for Jo’s killer, following a similar appeal by the parents of murdered Bristol teen Louise Smith and and an MP.
She spoke as police were reported to be examining what could be a ”highly significant” piece of evidence handed in by a member of the public.
Avon and Somerset police declined to comment on the find but it is understood that it is not Jo’s missing ski sock.
Rebecca is the last person known to have spoken to Jo after the pair chatted by phone at 8.30pm on December 17, the night Jo disappeared.
Jo’s strangled body was found by dog walkers in Longwood Lane, near Failand, on Christmas Day.
Rebecca said Jo had been ”very happy” with her career and relationship with Mr Reardon, which she described as ”the real deal”.
She dismissed any suggestion that her friend could have been seeing anyone else.
Rebecca said: ”I was not aware of anyone else on the scene. Jo was besotted with Greg, and he was with her. As soon as I met him I was really happy for her.
”He is a lovely guy and they had a lot of feelings for each other. Anyone close to her could see how happy they were together.”
But Jo wasn’t one to talk about her hopes and dreams for the future.
Rebecca said: ”She always had so much going on in the present – neither of us discussed future plans much.”
She also said that it was not unusual to go for a couple of days without Jo returning a phone call.
Rebecca said: ”Jo was useless with her phone, just like me. If you texted one of us you might not get a reply for quite a while.”
The friends spoke at least once a month to catch up and she said whenever they saw each other it was like they had never been apart.
She paid tribute to her best friend: ”Everyone who knew her, loved her. She was full of life and energy, really bubbly. she had so much life left in her to live.
”Every memory I have of Jo is a good memory. We spent our first nights out together, our first holidays together without our parents.
”We used to go down to Cornwall – we would spend a couple of weeks down there camping. We both loved the sea, being near the sea.”
Rebecca said Jo enjoyed surfing on those trips – being a sporty person who loved the outdoors.
She said Jo, whom she met when they were 15-year-olds at Winchester College, was also very creative and had found the ”perfect career” in becoming a landscape architect.
The friends had spoken on the night Jo was last seen alive – Jo called Rebecca as she walked home from the pub.
Rebecca, who had been at home after a day out sledging when she got the call, said they had made plans to meet in Romsey, near their parents’ homes, on Christmas Eve.
Jo had also been trying to persuade her to join a trip to Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve.
Speaking five days after Jo went missing, on December 22, Rebecca said: ”I was the last person believed to have spoken to Jo. She rang me at 8.30pm on Friday as she walked back from the pub.
”We spoke for about 15 minutes – and she was totally normal.
”She seemed very happy and we were making plans for Christmas and New Year. She was due to come back home on Christmas Eve and we had agreed to meet up.
”Jo and Greg were spending Christmas at her parents.
”We were also finalising New Year’s Eve plans – we were going up to Edinburgh as a few of us wanted to go.”
Rebecca then travelled home over the weekend and when she woke up early on Monday morning she found a phone message from the police about Jo.
She said she instantly ”panicked” and instinctively called Jo’s phone.
Rebecca said: ”Greg answered. He explained that she had gone missing.
”I knew something was wrong – we all did. As soon as I found out her possessions were in her flat, I knew she had not left the house of her own intention.
”It was a case of whether she was still alive, being kept alive by someone, or dead.
”I think we all were in denial about the situation. But deep down we knew something was wrong.”
Rebecca, studying PhD in marine biology at Swansea University, had told on December 22 – three days before her body was found – of everyone’s worry about their missing Jo.
She had said: ”She’s just not the sort of person to go missing.
”Jo is not one to hide her feelings – if there’s something bothering her, she will say. Jo is really outgoing. She was a very, very popular girl and she’s done very well for herself.
”Greg is with her family at the moment – he is distraught.”
Rebecca came to Bristol to hand out flyers to people in case they knew where her friend was and was kept awake every night by thoughts of what had happened to Jo.
She said today: ”I always hoped she was still alive but deep down I couldn’t help but think she’d been abducted and some harm had come to her.
”The next few days both Emma and I spent handing out posters and flyers. We needed to do something to help.
”I couldn’t sleep, so kept in regular contact with Jo’s family, Greg and Emma.
”As the days went by, as best we could we tried to have a Christmas. My parents were concerned about me and were upset as they to were close to Jo.
”On Christmas day we heard the news we had all been dreading. We had the TV on watching the news when it was reported a body had been found.
”In a way I felt relief at the news. I was gutted too, but I knew that she was now not a missing person and no further harm could come of her.
”I remember sending her mum a message saying ‘I’m sorry’. I didn’t know what else to say. Everyone was devastated.”
Jo’s snow-covered body was discovered by dog walkers in Longwood Lane, Failand near Bristol, and a murder investigation was launched by Avon and Somerset Police.
Rebecca has now spoken to investigators, but confirmed she had not been asked to provide a DNA swab – despite reports that some of Jo’s Facebook friends had been approached.
She said: ”We are now all desperate to see justice done, so if anyone has information I urge you to call the police.
”You may not have seen or heard anything but think back, has a friend or family member been acting strangely or suspiciously?
”If so please call the police and think about how you’d never want your best friend found murdered on Christmas day.”