Sarah Everard: Bus CCTV footage led to cop Wayne Couzens's arrest, may have used police ID to lure her into car
The shocking disappearance of the British woman Sarah Everard has led to the arrest of top gun cop, PC Wayne Couzens. But police are now investigating if Couzens, 48, who's being held on suspicion of Everard's abduction and murder, used his warrant card to lead her into his car. This development comes after Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick revealed that human remains have been found in woods. However, it is still not confirmed if the remains belong to the 33-year-old marketing executive who was last seen alive on March 3.
Detectives had a breakthrough after CCTV footage from a passing London bus was discovered.
Couzens was arrested after a car linked to him was allegedly spotted on a dashcam near the area where Everard was last seen. While police believe Couzens had not met Everard previously, the married dad of two was arrested along with his Ukraine-born wife, Elena, 38, the latter being taken in on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Who is Sarah Everard? Woman, 33, mysteriously vanishes during phone call with partner, Metropolitan cop arrested
Was Sarah Everard's body found? Timeline of the mysterious case of woman who vanished after call with boyfriend
Following the arrests, sources told The Sun on March 9, “The working hypothesis is that he saw Sarah on the street for the first time and kidnapped her. At this stage, it is thought the officer used his warrant card to entice Sarah towards his car. One theory is that he may have used the Covid lockdown as a pretext to engage with her and then snatched her.”
Couzens is a marksman, whose role involves guarding politicians and providing protection during events attended by the senior royals. He works with the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP) unit, which is normally based at the Palace of Westminster. On the day of Everard's disappearance, he is believed to have been working his shift in South London. Detectives investigating Everard's suspected murder have also searched his work locker in the last few days.
Everard had disappeared in Clapham, South West London, while she was walking home alone from a friend’s house. The last person she called before she went missing was her boyfriend, Josh Lowth. The car used to allegedly abduct Everard is also believed to have been hired, with its movements tracked by the ANPR cameras from the scene. PC Couzens was working a 2pm to 8pm relief shift at the US Embassy in Nine Elms, South West London, just three miles from where Everard was last seen on a doorbell camera at 9:30 PM on March 3.
Wearing a green rain jacket and navy blue trousers with white diamond patterns on it, Everard was walking alone on Poynders Road, which a part of the South Circular area. She had just ended a 15-minute call with her boyfriend, Josh Lowth, and that was when her phone signal was last recorded. It is suspected that moments later, PC Couzens kidnapped Everard, bundling her into his car, out of the camera's accessibility.
Police arrested PC Couzens at 8 pm on Tuesday, March 9, at his home in Deal, Kent. Initially held on suspicion of kidnapping, he was further charged for Sarah’s murder and an another unconnected offence of indecent exposure. With the family cars and cell phones currently in police custody for examination, a local told The Sun: “I saw police with flashlights searching in my outhouse, our garden and the fields next to it at around 1 am. There were dozens of them and there was a helicopter flying above for ages. It was shocking."
In a statement, the Met said: “A man arrested in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard remains in custody at a London police station. The man, who is aged in his 40s, was arrested on the evening of Tuesday March 9 on suspicion of kidnap. Today he has been further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.”
They added: “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 aged in her 30s, was also arrested on the evening of March 9 on suspicion of assisting an offender. She remains in custody. Officers are searching locations in London and Kent including a property in Deal and an area of woodland near Ashford.” Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave also stressed the suspect was off duty when Everard was kidnapped.