A mysterious car was seen prowling up and down Longwood Lane the day after Jo Yeates went missing could be crucial to the police investigation, it was revealed today.
A couple taking a morning walk on Saturday, December 18, became suspicious when the vehicle passed them three or four times.
They were so concerned they reported the incident to police – despite being unaware that 25-year-old Jo had gone missing from her flat on Friday night.
It was not until the following Monday that police issued a missing person alert after Jo’s boyfriend of two years Greg Reardon returned from a family visit to find she had vanished.
The landscape architect’s body was found on the verge of Longwood Lane near Failand, North Somerset, a week later, on Christmas morning.
Police last week appealed for information after a light-coloured 4×4 was sighted in Longwood Lane around the time Jo went missing.
But Avon and Somerset police yesterday refused to confirm if they were linking the two sightings.
Spokesman Martin Dunscombe said: ”We take every piece of information we receive from the public seriously and this is one of many lines of inquiry we’ve pursued.”
In a public appeal on January 3, Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones appealed for any information on the 4×4 seen in Longwood Lane.
He said: ”We have had a number of reports of vehicles on Longwood Lane during the late Friday evening and early hours of Saturday morning including a possibly light coloured 4×4.
”This 4×4 and the other vehicles may be completely unconnected, but I urge anyone in that car or any other driver in the vicinity that night to come forward.”
But police have so far refused to issue a detailed description of the car or its driver.